Romanian chocolate bar becomes the surprise star of Cannes

rom americanA relatively small scale campaign for a Romanian chocolate bar has emerged as a global star of Cannes, winning the grand prix in both the Direct Lions and Promo Lions categories.

The campaign by McCann Erickson tapped into Romanian patriotism to reinvigorate sales of the Rom snack.

The chocolate bar – a staple since 1964 with a Romanian flag on the wrapper – had struggled to win over younger consumers who leaned towards US brands.  

romautenticAccording to the agency’s award entry: “We challenged youngsters’ national Ego by replacing the Romanian flag on the package with the American one, and announcing it in the mass-media. We fostered and encouraged public debate triggered by the “American take-over”. We closely monitored and responded to public reactions. After a few days, following massive patriotic resurgence, ignited and developed especially in the social media, we brought back the old ROM, as Romanian as ever.”

As well as wining the promo and direct grand prix, the campaign also picked up a bronze in the PR Lions.

Meanwhile, Australian agencies had more of a supporting role in the promo and direct categories.

Happy Soldiers’ date stamped pillows campaign for Tontine won a silver and a bronze in the Promo Lions while JWT Sydney picked up a bronze for an ad for the Melbourne Writers festival.

In the Direct Lions, Clemenger BBDO’s Sensis hidden pizza restaurant project won a silver, as did Whybin TBWA Sydney for NRMA Insurance. Colenso BBDO Auckland picked up a bronze lion for Mars petfood.

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