Campaign details

Brand: Extra Gum
Advertiser: Mars, Inc.
Lead agency: Energy BBDO

Effie awards category context

Extra was the #1 gum brand from 1990-2004 on the strength of its "long-lasting flavor" positioning. As "long-lasting" became a category ante, Extra steadily declined. In response, we launched new flavors and communicated varying functional benefits, but our inconsistency only made things worse.

Rather than continuing this failing strategy, we did something unconventional for gum. We reinvented the brand around an emotional proposition: Extra is a way to connect with others. This strategy fueled an unprecedented turnaround during a four-year period in which the category declined.

State of the marketplace and brand's business

Extra was the #1 brand in the $3 billion gum category from 1990-2004 on the strength of its "long-lasting flavor" positioning. As "long-lasting" became a category ante, Extra steadily declined. In response, we launched new flavors and communicated varying functional benefits (e.g. "low-calorie snack"), but our inconsistency only made things worse. By 2013, Extra had been experiencing pervasive and steady declines for over two years. It had fallen to third place and average weekly sales were down compared to the prior year1 . Once a household name, the brand now found itself struggling. People didn't know what to think of us, so they didn't. Extra needed a new approach.