One of the first lessons about the confectionery industry I learned upon taking over the editorial reins of Candy Industry 10 years ago involved the inherent mission of anyone producing candy, be it a sugar, chocolate or gum confection.
In brief, it’s about bringing joy to the consumer.
I know, sounds a bit Pollyannaish coming from a curmudgeon like myself. Perhaps as an aging Baby Boomer, I getting sentimental, an unbeknownst side effect of my graying beard.
Mind you, now, I don’t say this flippantly or with sarcasm, which I’m been know to do occasionally.
Rather, it stems from the sincere testimonies I’ve gleaned from many a candymaker and/or confectionery professional as well as from seeing the smiles of family, friends and colleagues when I bring them treats.
Not to say that our industry is all sweetness and light. Today’s newsletter headlines provide a good example of the changes that are occurring within our industry, providing a roadmap of existing and pending developments within the global and local landscape.
But we’d all be remiss if we ignore the whimsy within our industry.
As that oft-used modern-day cliché goes, we all “get it” regarding proper planning, inspecting, executing and confirming. Still, it’s important to take time and smell, see and taste the candy.
Thus, when I saw today’s release regarding Nestle USA launching the first branded 360-degree interactive video in the United States on YouTube (www.yotube.com/wonka), I decided to delve further.
Mind you, I’m not one of those guys who tracks YouTube videos. Sure, I’ll go there occasionally, but I’m more likely to read about something in print than anywhere else.
So call me “Real Old School!”
Nevertheless, there are some things worth watching, and the Wonka Imagination Room is worth a look ― maybe two or three.
Essentially, viewers have the opportunity to experience four “whimsical” rooms tied to a specific Wonka chocolate ― Chocolate Waterfall, Scrumdiddlyumptious, Triple Dazzle Caramel and Fantabulous Fudge to be specific.
By using in-video captions and 360-degree video technology, viewers experience a combination of faux reality and fun graphics. I don’t want to give anything away here, but I really enjoyed the conveyors, moulds, piping and other real-life operational elements that give this virtual tour a factory foundation.
As Suzie Reiner, YouTube’s national sales director of display and video says, “The whimsical experience Wonka has created shows what is possible for brand advertisers on the web.”
Will this sell more Wonka products? Perhaps. Does it help the U.S. resolve its debt problems? Not likely, though Washington could certainly use a bit of sweetness and light these days. Will it make you smile? I think so.
So go out and enjoy some whimsy today. It’s part of what you do.