Romania was the big winner on Monday at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity as the local branch of creative agency McCann Erickson won two Grands Prixes in the promo/activation and direct categories for its American Rom campaign for client Kandia Dulce. This is Romania’s first Grand Prix, though it has won a few Lions in the past.
The agency has also received two Gold Cannes Lions (for the Food and Non-Alcoholic Drinks category in the Promo&Activation section and the category Fast Moving Consumer Goods in the Direct section), as well as two Bronze trophies in PR, in the Consumer Goods, including FMCG and Household Products and Best Launch or Re-launch categories.
At the start of October, the Rom chocolate bar was released in new packaging, bearing the American flag, as well as a new slogan, “The taste of coolness”. Luckily, the teasing stage of this new campaign only lasted for a week, and soon resulted in Rom’s return to its Romanian roots, as requested by the public through the reactive patriotism mentioned above. The brand is now focused on proud Romanian messages, with allusions to the national anthem and local sayings and a return to the “strong Romanian sensations” slogan.
Rom’s temporary American rebranding saw Facebook groups, online petitions and short films from young consumers calling for a return to the old Rom. Some 12,000 people joined forces against the brand’s new image and in just one hour and in one store, the American Rom sold 200 chocolate bars, data from McCann Erickson shows.
This temporary rebranding of Rom Tricolor came as a consequence to several studies developed by McCann Erickson in Romania. Thus, in a time of economic, social and political turmoil, Romanians seem to no longer take pride in their nationality and it is no secret that emigrating has been on the majority’s lips these days. According to sources quoted by McCann Erickson, 80 percent of young Romanians want to leave the country and only 12 percent regard themselves as patriots. Romanians seem to have a special relationship with foreigners and practice some form of “reactive patriotism” and this is why such a typically Romanian brand, as ROM, emigrated too, becoming “American.”
Rom Tricolor was the first Romanian chocolate bar, created in 1964 by the Excelent company, which under capitalism became Kandia Excelent and was later taken over by Kraft. Unlike in the case of Dacia, which chose not to make associations with its history through its communication campaigns, Rom has constantly used ironic messages related to its Romanian past and identity.
The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is one of the world’s largest celebrations of creativity in communications. As the most prestigious international advertising awards, more than 24,000 entries from all over the world are showcased and judged at the Festival. Winners receive the highly coveted Lion trophy, presented at four award ceremonies throughout the week. This year, the festival takes place between June 19 and 25.
Watch the winning campaign’s presentation below:
Picture via www.canneslions.com.