After more than eight years of building its “Unexplainably Juicy” brand platform, Starburst is refreshing its proposition to reconnect with fans and reach an expanded Gen Z audience.
The brand has its sights set on outer space to capture the attention of Gen Z — the cohort most interested in space, at 63 percent versus the 49 percent U.S. average.
"Ask the Universe," the brand’s new campaign developed in partnership with DDB, is inspired by the age-old question that Starburst fans often wonder: “How do they make Starburst taste so juicy?”
In search of answers, the brand is enlisting the help of fans on TikTok to pose the question at the heart of its new campaign to outer space and any extraterrestrial life forms that may be listening. From Sept. 6 until Oct. 14, people can create a TikTok video that asks, “How do they make Starburst taste so juicy,” by using whichever form of communication they think will resonate most with potential higher life forms. The most creative and imaginative TikTok videos (using #BeamItUpStarburst) will have the chance to be beamed into space thanks to a first-of-its-kind partnership with SpaceSpeak.
TikTok creators can head to starburst.com/AskTheUniverse, input their TikTok handle, and see where their video is traveling in space in real time. According to SpaceSpeak, the videos will travel at the speed of light; meaning, once they are beamed into space, they’ll travel all the way through the solar system on the first day alone.
This six-week hashtag challenge — accompanied by Spark Ads and sequential advertising — will kick off with help from astrophysicist, space communications expert and influencer Kirsten Banks (aka @astrokirsten on TikTok). Kirsten — who loves to share her passion for space and astronomy — will use her platform to announce the challenge and share just how to go about creating beam-worthy content.
Starburst's “Ask the Universe” campaign also includes a new TV commercial, directed by Bine Bach, which debuted in early August. The new TV commercial is the brand’s first for its core product line since 2015. Creative will also run in online video, print, paid search and select social channels.
“Starburst is such a beloved brand for its inexplicable juiciness,” said Martin Terwilliger, marketing director, Mars Wrigley. “We’re excited to be leaning into this playful brand insight but in a new and refreshed way. Gen Z and Millennials’ interest in space is only growing, and we love that our latest wonder-inducing campaign is so squarely at the center of pop culture. We’re excited about not only the campaign, but also the opportunity to actually beam fans’ TikToks into space in search of answers.”