As a sequel to one of its most successful advertising campaigns, Just Born Inc. of Bethlehem is reuniting Mike and Ike of Mike and Ike Candy.
Last year, the company received a great deal of attention with the campaign that announced the split of the duo.
Several national media outlets, including The New York Times, reported – erroneously – that Mike and Ike were splitting as a gay couple.
“There was definitely a buzz because of the sensationalistic angle,” said Donald Houston, senior marketing manager for Just Born.
And while it sparked an interesting debate, Mathew Pye, vice president of marketing for Just Born, clarified the company’s intention in an interview with Lehigh Valley Business shortly after the headline-making story broke. He said the breakup was intended as an end to the pair’s business partnership – and was not intended to imply anything else.
Either way, they’re back together in this year’s campaign with numbers to show the public missed their pairing.
The company said the Mike and Ike Split campaign was a major contributor to the highest sales numbers in the 73-year history of the brand. The brand had one of the highest year-over-year growth rates in the last 10 years.
The brand was up over 7.2 percent for 2012, outpacing the non-chocolate candy category growth of 6.6 percent.
The main Original Fruits variety, which accounts for more than 65 percent of Mike and Ike brand sales, was up 9.3 percent.
This year’s Mike and Ike campaign will feature a movie trailer themed ad, new flavor combinations, new packaging and a redesigned website all touting their reunion.
Houston said the company is hoping to meet and even exceed last year’s numbers with this year’s campaign.
And while much of the attention the company received was a result of a misinterpretation of its press release, “we were pleased with the overall results,” Houston said.