Russell Stover brings on Endeavor for first major brand campaign in 20 years

The push is called Make Happy.

KANSAS CITY: Russell Stover Chocolates has enlisted Endeavor Global Marketing for its first major creative brand campaign in more than two decades, known as Make Happy.

Endeavor Global Marketing’s communications group started working with Russell Stover in July. It is the first PR agency retained by the company to provide communications strategy and execution for its brand growth initiatives and creative campaigns, said Bates Grainger, Endeavor senior account director.

The Make Happy campaign is launching on Monday and is a "celebration of the joy of gifting and the feelings of happiness that come with bestowing a gift of Russell Stover chocolates to a friend or loved one for every day and seasonal occasions," said Grainger.

Key campaign elements include a national broadcast ad titled Hugs, which follows a series of stories of anticipation, moments of giving and the delivery of a "heartwarming reward of a smile or a hug," said Grainger. The spot features an original song, "I Wanna Make You Happy," which was written and performed by musician Victory Boyd.

Russell Stover did not issue an RFP for the work. It invited Endeavor to pitch for the opportunity based on the firm’s work with Russell Stover creative AOR Cutwater on the Brawny brand, including the #StrengthHasNoGender campaign, Grainger explained.

Endeavor presented to the Russell Stover marketing and brand teams in April. The firm is providing PR strategy and execution for the brand and the new creative campaign, with a focus on earned media, said Grainger, who is leading the account team.

Russell Stover collaborated with creative AOR Cutwater to develop an authentic narrative about gifting that could be told through paid, earned and social media. Budget information was not disclosed.

The campaign is running after Russell Stover turned to consumers to co-create the design of a new gift box that they would consider "modern and gift-worthy," the brand said in a statement. Since early 2018, the company has used consumer insights to simplify is flavor assortment to contain more of what buyers want. 

In 2016, Russell Stover Chocolates, then known as Russell Stover Candies, hired FleishmanHillard as its first communications AOR in its nearly 100-year history. Fleishman’s relationship with the brand ended that year, according to an agency representative. 

Swiss chocolate-maker Lindt & Sprungli acquired Russell Stover in 2014. Russell Stover owns three brands -- Russell Stover, Whitman’s and Pangburn’s Chocolates -- but Endeavor’s work will focus on the Russell Stover brand. 

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