Mutant chew: Wrigley/X-Men promo packaging
Campaign: 5X limited edition gum and X-Men: First Class promotional packaging and point-of-sale material
Client: The Wrigley Company
Agency: Saltmine Design Group
The Wrigley Company’s 5 Gum brand was created to invigorate the gum category and drive growth among the category’s key demographic, Gen C – creative, connected and community- oriented teenagers who crave stimulation in both the real and digital worlds. Its unique packaging, sleek black design and breakthrough graphics distinguish it from all other gum brands in the Australian market.
Since its Australian launch in 2009, the 5 Gum brand has grown the gum category by offering consumers engaging experiences along with regular new flavour launches and engagement with the brand via social media. As the first gum that you can ‘feel as you chew’, it delights the target market with something unexpected, rewarding their curious nature and desire for discovery.
5 Gum inhabits a dark imaginary world full of fantastic sensory experiences, mimicking contemporary fantasy blockbusters, so aligning with an instalment of major movie and comic franchise, X-Men, provided the perfect partner for 5 Gum for a limited edition pack launch and consumer promotion.
When Wrigley’s 5 Gum joined forces with 20th Century Fox’s new movie release, it called on Saltmine Design Group to design the branding, packaging and point of sale material for the campaign, as well as the promotional fulfilment.
Wrigley’s 5 Gum wanted to drive gum category growth by increasing frequency and penetration within the key target market. It was also important for this brand to continue to deliver news as the brand’s target market actively seeks out new flavours and innovations.
The design objective was to create a piece of packaging that was distinctly 5 Gum in look and feel, while remaining true to the brand positioning, brand guidelines and design integrity of both 5 Gum and X-Men: First Class brands.
The task was to design packaging for the new limited edition 5X Mutant gum and an ownable 5X lock-up device, which was to be used across all promotional touch points on a major cross-brand promotion for Australia and New Zealand. The pack would communicate 5 Gum’s partnership with X-Men: First Class and launch a large-scale consumer promotion across Australia and New Zealand.
Saltmine’s starting point was to design a 5X lock-up that would be central to the pack design, as well as being the collaborative logo used across all touch points of the campaign. The team of creatives were given a sneak peek at characters, costumes and storylines for the upcoming film to inspire them during the design journey.
There were several mandatories to consider throughout the process: the gum variant name was to be ‘Mutant’, in keeping with the X-Men movie theme, the purple variant colour was dictated by the blueberry gum flavour and Saltmine was supplied with X-Men logos by 20th Century Fox, which needed to be integrated into the design.
The key to the brief was to seamlessly bring together two brands into one for this brand collaboration. Saltmine was also briefed to design a point of sale suite, which would be used as a platform to launch the consumer promotion in-store.
Saltmine started by exploring a vast array of shapes that would inject colour and dynamic movement into a cross- brand logo, translate into a variant icon to be used on the gum box and be in keeping with the look and feel of both 5 Gum and X-Men: First Class brands. The key visual needed to be predominantly purple to mimic the purple gum inside and one of the key challenges was ensuring the contrast of purple with the black 5 Gum pack to guarantee on-shelf standout.
Designed with shelf impact in mind, the typography needed to be big, bold and true to the style of both brands and work with the purple explosive device to form an ownable cross-brand logo.
The final 5 Gum pack included an impactful shrink wrap complete with the X-Men: First Class movie logo, which could be removed to reveal the iconic 5 Gum pack with new flavour descriptor and purple explosion.
The packs were merchandised in pre-pack units that dialled up 5 Gum’s association with the movie by incorporating the characters on a die-cut header card along with a product shot sitting on a purple carpet, highlighted by spotlights.
The striking point of sale suite – which also included posters, counter units and wobblers – included the details of the promotional campaign to encourage trial of the gum and leverage the tie-in with the movie.
The campaign was also rolled out online through 5 Gum’s Facebook page, which has over 350,000 fans and Saltmine’s 5X lock-up was used to ensure consistency throughout the campaign. The packaging and 5X lock-up were also featured in the 5 Gum TVC.
The 5X campaign, for which Saltmine collaborated with OMD and Soap Creative, won multiple awards.
Sales results for the promotion far exceeded expectations. Within its first month of sales, 5 Gum Mutant was the number two SKU (stock keeping unit) in national grocery value sales, and became the top selling gum SKU across all the major packaging and converting accounts.
5X drove 5 Gum to its best ever market share in Australia: 26.5% (up from 21.1% prior to 5X’s launch). 5X was also the number two selling gum across Australia in June 2011, an exceptional result for a limited edition product.