Craic up with Maltesers

The “Craic up with Maltesers” campaign gave the humorous Maltesers brand a distinctively Irish tone of voice that made it stand out in an increasingly cluttered and noisy category. Ultimately, this created as many new sales as it did laughs.


Irish consumers like to indulge. They eat chocolate as if it is one of their five a day, more than as treat for themselves. The Chocolate category is experiencing a high proliferation of product innovation and new product lines, as confectionary companies look to satisfy this demand. None more so than the category leader Mondelez, who backed the roll-out of new products across 2016 with a heavy advertising spend – 50% more than Mars in 2016 (Nielsen Jan-Dec 2016).

This has brought a lot of clutter and a lot noise to the category, and with all the extra choices available to the market more traditional brands were seeing declines in penetration and sales.

Chocolate bars are generally bought on impulse, during a break or over lunch. People also use these breaks to catch a breath out of a busy day, chat to mates and have ‘the craic’. If you haven’t heard of it, ‘the craic’ is something uniquely Irish. It the Irish way of describing a bit of fun, witty banter or just a good time. Having the craic is as important as food or a drink is to recharge oneself on these breaks.

Maltesers is a brand with humour and comedy in its heart. This provided a powerful, authentic connection to how Irish people like to enjoy life and have the craic. Out of this connection the “Craic up with Maltesers” platform was created.

Solution and Execution

The strategy for this campaign was rooted in the Reach+ framework, developed for Mars by MediaCom, consisting of three pillars:

1: Right Reach

Regular flighting of AV across the campaign maintained a high level of salience for the brand, keeping it humour front of mind with consumers. Weekly weights were optimised in line with seasonal sales patterns.

2: Relevant Reach

The “Craic up with Maltesers” platform gave us the authenticity to drop the message down to an everyday conversational level with Irish consumers. We did this through a content partnership and contextual Out-of-Home placements. Nothing stays too funny for long, so we partnered with to provide a consistent flow of humorous native and video content for the duration of the campaign. The face of the campaign was Fred Cooke, a well-known Irish comedian. This was then scaled through social channels.

The campaign’s local tone of voice gave it an inclusive feel, distinct from a category just yelling about new product lines. The social activity gave the campaign reach across the day and around the breaks that people take to chat to friends and have a chocolate snack that AV couldn’t optimally reach.

3: Reaction Reach

To make the content more shoppable, we partnered with Tesco (one of the Ireland’s largest grocery retailers), and filmed many of the videos in its stores across Ireland. This content was partnered with an exciting competition where the winners won prizes to comedy festivals.

 The campaign culminated in a one-off comedy gig in Dublin, which generated ticket prizes and was also a great, free sampling opportunity between Maltesers and consumers. With three live comedians it was a great night that doubled up as an opportunity to entertain some key retail clients. In turn the event also gained organic media traction and created further content to boost on social media.


The cut-through and differentiation of this campaign delivered strong business results.

Campaign metrics were all very strong including:

  • Maintained coverage of 70% of target audience across the campaign
  • Facebook reach of over 3 million while 1.7 million were reached via twitter.
  • 759,000 uniques visited the content pages on
  • Over 9,000 competition entries

 And while built on comedy, the business results are no laughing matter.

  • Year-on-Year sales increased by a phenomenal 18% during the campaign period.
  • Penetration increased by a staggering 1.2pp in a saturated market to 50% – making Maltesers the largest brand in the Mars chocolate portfolio in Ireland.

Allianz 16 for 16
The Marketing Sentiment Survey 2017