Hershey puts ‘her’ and ‘she’ in the spotlight

Who: Hershey Canada, with Mint for creative, and UM for media.

What: “#HerForShe” a Canadian iteration of an international marketing program timed to coincide with International Women’s Day. It consists of five limited-edition 45g chocolate bars bearing the names and likenesses of female Canadian leaders in street culture.

When & Where: The campaign launched March 4, and runs through March 18. The bars are not available commercially, but are being sent to approximately 200 thought leaders across the country, supported by media outreach. A series of mini-profiles of the five women are being shared across Hershey’s owned and operated channels, with some paid social media advertising.

Why: Hershey Canada’s senior marketing manager Brittany Chopra said that the program is based on the insight that women’s achievement’s are not celebrated nearly enough. It also supports its long-standing commitments to gender equity.

The company, which appointed Michele Buck as the first female CEO in its history in 2017, topped Forbes’ first annual ranking of the World’s Top Female-Friendly Companies last year. It has pledged to increase the percentage of women in its workforce to 50%, and women in leadership roles to 42%, by 2025. It also achieved pay equity in the U.S. in 2020 and is working to achieve that objective globally.

The marketing program originated in Brazil in 2020, based on the realization that the “her” and “she” pronouns are already baked into the brandname. The program performed “incredibly well” for the brand in Brazil, said Chopra, generating more than two billion impressions between 2020 and 2021 and earning two Bronze Lions in Cannes.

How: The program was created entirely by and for women, with Mint enlisting Toronto artist Gosia Komorski to design special wrappers celebrating five women contributing to Canada’s street culture: Marion Willis, founder and executive director of St. Boniface Street Links and Morberg House; sustainable fashion designer Natalya Amres; Fitriya Mohamed, founder and executive director of the Muslim Women’s Summer Basketball League; trans /activist Yasmeen Persad; and Erica Jacobs, founder of 100% Skate Club.

Mint also created mini-vignettes for each of the five woman featured on the wrapper that are running across paid and organic social. Each 20-second vignette features a voiceover by the woman explaining her venture and how she got started.

“We just thought there was a cool opportunity to tell some of these interesting stories about women who are making their mark in the street scene,” said Mint’s creative director, Laura Rothstein. “It’s great to show them on a wrapper, but you’ve got to have a little bit of a story and have them say in their own words what their vision is.” Hershey has also donated $20,000 to GirlUp, the United Nations Foundation’s leadership development program for young girls.

And we quote: “Like the words, ‘her’ and ‘she,’ the accomplishments of women have gone unnoticed for far too long,” said Chopra. “This is why Hershey is starting a global movement to make the accomplishments of more women visible.”

Chris Powell