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Horror and comedy inter-Twizzled: Is Twizzlers’ new campaign effective?

July 2019

This is a self-funded case study using our Advertising Testing solution.

What do an analytical detective, a distracted husband, and a reticent bride all have in common? Something to brood on, and something to chew on! Droga5 took a distinctly un-serious brand very seriously; conjoining suspense, humour and Twizzlers together in ‘Chew On It’ – a new creative platform for the brand, centred around how the product helps you ponder “Very Serious” issues.

We tested all three executions in the campaign amongst a representative audience of US confectionary consumers, and found strong indicators of effectiveness.

When testing advertising effectiveness, we seek to answer 3 questions:

  1. Captivate: Does it attract and retain viewers’ attention, and engage them in an emotional way?
  2. Connect: Is it instantly recognisable for the brand?
  3. Compel: Does it leave people with a lasting impression about the brand, which primes them to choose it?


The humorous, dramatic narrative, combined with cinematic-like production values, was the key source of positivity. The suspenseful build-up and heavily anticipated discovery of the root of each character’s contemplation successfully captured viewers’ attention, while the humorous twist at the end put a smile on people’s faces.

As with Snickers’ “You’re not you when you’re hungry”, the bait-and-switch concept provides limitless opportunities to entertain that helps carry viewers through repeat viewings and punchlines – making the ‘Chew On It’ platform highly versatile and durable.

And viewers did find the campaign entertaining – the most prominent impressions from the campaign centred around Twizzlers being ‘fun’, ‘exciting’, ‘unique’ and of course ‘chewy’. The dark and moody style also served to make the campaign seem unique and distinctive in comparison to other confectionary advertising.


Importantly, the brand wasn’t an afterthought to the emotionally-laden story, with each iteration giving Twizzlers a starring role, showing the packaging and product consistently in an organic and relevant way. This highlights that brand attribution is still possible without having familiar cues to reply upon, which is pertinent for advertisers looking to launch new creative platforms.


An important objective behind the campaign was to convey that Twizzlers aren’t overly sweet like other confectionary, which makes them ideal to chew on while relaxing and unwinding. In an interview, Droga5’s Creative Director purported that the mere act of chewing them is a “de-stressor and emotional outlet”.

This more rationally-geared construct wasn’t clearly understood by viewers, with the idea that Twizzlers are “good for relaxing and unwinding” taken out by only a quarter of viewers spontaneously, while “aren’t overly sweet” was the weakest prompted impression by a considerable margin.

While viewers found the storylines to be light-hearted and humorous, they didn’t link the thinking/contemplation back to key product benefits. As a result, the campaign wasn’t seen to offer anything newsworthy or informative about Twizzlers, which subsequently meant it didn’t give people a strong reason to consider the brand in the short-term.

Final Thoughts

‘Chew On It’ is a potent campaign, and a great example of subverting category and genre expectations, as well as how to seamlessly integrate the product into the narrative.

However, the most effective advertising leaves people with a lasting impression about the brand, which is where ‘Chew On It’ missed the mark. This meant its overall performance was very good, but not great, scoring a Cubery Rating which places it in the top 30th percentile of our database.

Twizzlers Chew On It Campaign - Advertising Testing results

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