Butterfinger drops playful new crime detective video series for Halloween

Ferrero brand Butterfinger has launched a new video campaign and sweepstakes that aims to build buzz around the brand this Halloween through entertaining and engaging content. The Butterfinger Investigators aka (BFI) is a humorous new video series that mirrors the television crime detective series CSI. The series includes several five-minute webisodes which are designed to “delight and entertain people with a few different curve balls," says Mark Wakefield, SVP Marketing at Ferrero.

Ferrero brand Butterfinger has launched a new video campaign and sweepstakes that aims to build buzz around the brand this Halloween through entertaining and engaging content.

The Butterfinger Investigators aka (BFI) is a humorous new video series that mirrors the television crime detective series CSI. The videos star two wise-cracking agents Hugh Dunnit and Ali Byes, played by actors Amir Arison and Alexandria Benford, whose mission is to track down thieves that have stolen Butterfingers. 

“We created this dramatic series with the tug of war between a person who is passionate about protecting their Butterfinger versus someone who is committed to stealing it,” says Mark Wakefield, SVP Marketing at Ferrero. “The idea to dramatize the unique delicious irresistible taste of Butterfinger. It is to create intrigue, excitement and engagement. We want to entertain audiences.” 

The campaign includes a several five-minute webisode, which is designed to “delight and entertain people with a few different curve balls.” “We want to entertain people and give them a sense of levity and joy and fun and delight in the context of today,” Wakefield says.

In 2018, Ferrero acquired Nestle's U.S. candy business for $2.8 billion in 2018. Since then, the company has been updating the candy with higher quality ingredients that help improve on the iconic flavor of the candy. The upgrade effort also includes new packaging that aims to elevate the brand.

Butterfinger's new campaign comes at a time when CPGs have been having a successful year, as consumers continue to spend at grocery stores. These sales are a reversal of several years of stagnation for the category, particularly among larger brands, per McKinsey.

“It is about going back to the fundamentals of the product to clean up the label and to improve the quality of the product delivery, to make it more crispity crunchity,” says Wakefield. “We took that improvement on the inside and we dramatized it on the outside with a better package.”

The new campaign, which was created with creative and production agency Piro, is targeting what Wakefield calls the “playful individualist.” 

“This is a person who is looking for one-of-a-kind unique experiences,” he explains. “They march to the beat of their own drum. They are thinking about ways that they can live their life with self-directed personal style. They don't really follow the herd. They are looking for unique tastes, so when it comes to chocolate, they are looking for something like Butterfinger.”

The effort also includes a sweepstakes that encourages Butterfinger thieves to turn themselves in at ButterfingerCaseFiles.com for the chance to win $25,000. On the site, consumers can sign a digital “confession” to share with the detectives and then to share it on their social networks.

“During Halloween, parents will sneak a few of their kids treats when they come home after they have gone to bed or during the days after Halloween,” says Wakefield. “We say that if you succumb to Butterfinger theft, you should turn yourself in and enter to win the sweepstakes.”

Even though trick-or-treating has been cancelled this year in some places and will likely be toned down in other places due to the virus, Ferrero anticipates that consumers will still be celebrating in small groups at home.

“Halloween is one of those iconic moments of celebration, socialization, fun, mystery and just happiness for kids,” says Wakefield. “Getting dressed up for trick treating will be different this year. But while Halloween will be different that doesn't mean it can’t be fun and enjoyable. We expect that parents are going to be looking for innovative, creative ways to find opportunities to still celebrate and enjoy Halloween and we are continuing to support the season.”

Butterfinger has developed seasonal packaging with creepy Halloween graphics and the Butterfinger investigators to activate consumers this season. “We are leaning into the fun, playful, cheeky and irreverent side of Butterfinger’s personality, which has always been one of the most distinctive parts,” says Wakefield. “We think that this Halloween will still be a celebration that people enjoy and participate in.” 

From a media perspective, Butterfinger is moving more towards digital and is creating entertaining content that is designed to engage through the multimedia approach.

“We continually look at our marketing mix and all of the tools and techniques used by digitally empowered millenials and Gen X consumers,” Wakefield said. “We continue to evaluate how we can adapt to that media mix. People are much more digitally enabled and technologically empowered and we think that that is an area where we are attacking our media spend.”


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