Can a Candy Bar Tell a Story? Hershey and HP Indigo Say Yes With Latest #HerForShe Campaign
by Bill McCool on 03/08/2022 | 4 Minute Read
Sure, anyone can make their packaging look cool, but can it also tell a story?
Hershey and HP Indigo, now in their third year celebrating International Women’s Day, have launched a new campaign to make “Invisible Women Visible,” with limited-edition packaging showcasing their many victories. Using digital printing technology, the #HerForShe campaign transforms the beloved Hershey’s milk chocolate bar into a virtual handheld billboard honoring women across Brazil.
Working with Brazillian agency BETC HAVAS, they commissioned illustrators like Caroline Barbosa Ramos, Marcela Scheid, and Mariê Balbinot to create the overall design of the packaging that supports gender equality across sports, business, science, activism, and music. The intended goal is to foster a sense of sisterhood, highlighting the achievements of women across multiple fields and creating a canvas for “HER story,” inspiring other women to feel a sense of solidarity.
What’s more, the entire initiative is also a marvel of digital printing (and one that plays out on what might be the gold standard for candy bar design). Limited-edition or customized packaging is something that’s now well within reach for many brands. It wasn’t all that long ago that a campaign similar to #HerForShe would be far too cost-prohibitive, but with advances in digital printing, even a short run is accessible for creative marketing campaigns looking to find new ways to engage with their customers utilizing stories that strike an emotional chord.
Each chocolate bar also comes with a QR code (printed, of course, using the HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press), delivers consumers an intimate look at the impact the women influencers featured on the packaging have on the world around them. HP even created a film with the Hershey Company that details how brands can level up their packaging through storytelling, gaining buy-in with consumers with culturally relevant stories that encourage the next generation to imagine a better world.
Of course, this isn’t the first time the Hershey Company and HP Indigo have teamed up. Back in 2020, the two first came together to generate 320,000 limited-edition #HerForShe chocolate bars printed on the HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press for International Women’s Day, highlighting Brazillian musicians, illustrators, poets, and other female creatives by creating a dazzling and seemingly limitless array of labels. In the end, both brands managed to create a highly memorable and sought-after piece of limited-edition packaging that quickly sold out and inspired consumers to share it over social media. And for any brand to make that kind of impression with user-generated content is the stuff of marketing dreams. Luckily, they created a template for awe-inspiring storytelling.
“Empowering women and advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion is a business priority for us," said Santhi Ramesh, CMO International Marketing, the Hershey Company. "We invite new perspectives, ideas, and experiences in everything we do to reflect the diversity of consumers around the world. Throughout the campaign, HP has helped us to open our eyes to the power of digitally printed packaging, allowing us to engage with our audience in a creative and unique way while celebrating women and their achievements globally."
One of the reasons projects like this are so successful is because consumers want to support brands that align with their values. According to one study, they are four to six times more likely to back brands and companies that are purpose-driven. If you can build that message into your packaging, you can create a direct line that cuts through the usual noise that strikes an empathetic note.
“I’ve loved seeing how the #HerForShe campaign has evolved over the past three years, and I’m excited to see what other personalized storytelling opportunities HP’s digital print technology can achieve in order to make tangible connections and further engagements with consumers,” said Jose Gorbea, global head of brands, agencies & sustainability for HP Indigo.
Campaigns like #HerForShe are proving to be well worth the marketing investment. According to a WARC study on the marketing effectiveness of digitally printed packaging, brands can potentially double their sales when they turn to personalized packaging and user-generated content. “This can be achieved through digital print, and it is why now 70% of digitally printed packaging campaigns, like Hershey’s, are being used strategically as the lead communication touchpoint of the marketing mix to build brand equity,” added Gorbea.
The HP Indigo digital printing technology has proven to be an essential tool for brands looking to cultivate these types of campaigns, whether it’s needed to create flexible packaging, shrink-sleeve, folding cartons, wrap-around labels, and in-mould labeling. Plus, the digital color printing process will match gravure printing, offering high-resolution printing that will adhere to any brand’s strict color needs using seven ink stations.
Packaging, when utilized in the right way, is a storytelling powerhouse. And, as any packaging designer will tell you, it’s equally as critical as the product within because what you put on the outside is a direct reflection of what’s inside. If a brand can align its values with its products—like a legitimately iconic candy brand with one of the most recognizable wrappers around—it sends a meaningful message to consumers.
And, in this case, celebrating inspiring women and bringing their stories to life.
Learn more about HP Indigo digitally printed packages—and how to bring other brand stories to life. https://reinvent.hp.com/HerForShe
- #HerForShe Campaign Agency: BETC HAVAS
- Client: Hershey's
- Product: Hershe
- CCO: Erh Ray
- CBO: Daniel Jotta
- Creative VP: Andrea Siqueira
- Creative Director: Marcelo Ribeiro
- Creative Associate Director: Victor Castelo
- Art Direction: Fernanda Peka, Fernando Fregate and Philippe Demar
- Copy: Lucas Madu e Pedro Arvati
- Art Assistant: Eduarda Vidaurre, Matheus Tavora
- Design: Matheus Szymanski
- Brands and Business: Fabiane Veiga, Rebecca Nociti e Giovana Pagliarini
- Engagement and Channels: Fabiane Veiga, Rebecca Nociti e Giovana Pagliarini
- Strategy: Agatha Kim, Patrick Sertã, Renata Barbosa, Melanie Swidrak e Gabriela Souza
- Content: Daniela Lima, Yasmin Ribeiro e Carina Nascimento
- Integrate Production Director: Anna Luisa Ferraz
- Production: Juliana Arantes, Andrea Carmassi e Cindy Cardoso
- Gender and Curation Consultancy: Plano Feminino
- CEO & Managing Director: Vivi Duarte
- Strategy and Impact Manager: Melina Oliveira
- Project Coordinator: Isabela Ramalho
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