• Mark Richardson

How to get out of the store and into pop culture

Mike and Ike fruit candy grew slowly for 70 years but couldn’t get out of the category basement. After listening to consumers and a social marketing expert talk about how to go viral, we invented fictitious characters posing as the brand’s namesakes and flung them in a celebrity-level creative split over “the candy”. Mike took to producing rap videos and Ike pursued street art. The ensuing multi-media campaign drove 3X industry growth, added a million Facebook fans and overtook category leaders Starburst and Skittles on engagement and popularity. Eventually Mike and Ike reunited to launch new products. Big brand Twix created a big budget copycat campaign but it was too late. Consumers said, “Oh, like Mike and Ike!” The courage of the Mike and Ike marketing team and the brilliance of a collective group of agency collaborators combined a strategic fundamental with extraordinary creativity to rock an entire mature category.