In a new ad campaign launched by Just Born, fictional candy characters “Mike” and “Ike” are going their separate ways. Recently, Mike and Ike packaging began appearing in stores with either “Mike” or “Ike” crossed out.
The split is part of an ad campaign by Just Born and the Elevator Group, a Massachusetts-based marketing agency, to target younger consumers. The company’s plan, which includes multi-media advertising, a revised website, an entertainment blog, online advertising, contests, and a national press conference, will cost an estimated $15 million.
Apparently, the characters just can’t seem to agree on ideas for their fruit-flavored chewy candy anymore. Their drastically different career aspirations aren’t helping, either — “Mike” wants to be a musician, “Ike” an artist.
“Their split is not unlike that of other famous celebrity duos like Simon and Garfunkel or Lennon and McCartney,” says the company in a recent release.
On the Mike and IkeFacebook page, which the candy’s new packaging is directing people to, the company is urging fans to post their reactions to the split on Facebook and Twitter. Fans can also submit short video reactions to the split as part of a contest searching for the best reactions.
In one of the brand’s Youtube videos, celebrities have spoken out on how they feel about the split. The video features reactions from NBA player Lamar Odom, 14-year-old Youtube sensation Greyson Chance, and actress Eden Sher. The celebrities will also blog, appear in television ads, and Tweet to their followers to bring the duo back together. Just Born also will hold a press conference at Chicago’s Sweets & Snacks Expo in May. According to the company, “Mike” and “Ike” are expected to attend along with their spokespeople and Just Born executives. The company will also hold contests similar to that available on the website, where consumers will be asked to submit their reactions to the split. In the past, Mike and Ike characters have appeared on the packaging art, but were removed shortly afterward. The vintage packaging features two men with moustaches, one wearing a top hat and the other a bowler, and is available for order online..
Although the fictional pair is splitting up, the company assures consumers that there will be no changes in flavors or distribution.
Mike and Ike comes in flavor varieties such as Original Fruits, Tropical Typhoon, Berry Blast, RedRageous! and others. The original variety, introduced in 1940, included cherry, lime, lemon, and orange flavors. The present-day variety includes a strawberry flavor as well.