Candy corn. Whether you love (love) it or hate it (with a passion), the iconic orange candy can now be found everywhere, from the itty bitty holiday section of that gas station just off the 405 to the gleaming aisles of your closest Target. Candy corn may be one of Halloween’s most divisive treats, with fans championing its sugary pop-one-and-you-can’t-stop addictiveness and opponents lambasting its waxy texture.
But regardless of how you feel about it, there’s no denying that candy corn is inextricably intertwined with the popular notion of Halloween. As with brands that become synonymous with the product they sell (like Band-Aid representing all bandages or Chapstick representing all lip balm), candy corn seems both synonymous with Halloween itself and somehow endlessly self-perpetuating: as if it needs no marketing at all to continue to be ubiquitous each and every October.
It turns out, though, that even the “inescapable candy” needs its own marketing campaigns. Why? The short answer is because there are multiple candy manufacturers trying to get a piece of the candy corn pie.
Brach’s Candy, which hopes to be candy corn’s one true face, put out this cute YouTube ad in 2011.
Comments on the video are sparse, but pleasant, calling the ad “adorable.” There are also comments referencing the Lewis Black comedy routine that infamously described candy corn as never needing advertising. But if this ad went over well, who’s to say a few more candy corn converts weren’t born? Nostalgia and good will can be powerful drivers of commerce.
Jelly Belly, not to be outdone, put out an entire instructional video on how to eat candy corn in 2012.
At 3 minutes long, this video is more like infotainment than an ad, but judging by the more or less positive reception in the comments, viewers and fans enjoyed it nonetheless. At the very least, it’ll definitely get viewers thinking about candy corn – and that might just have the effect of shoppers running out to pick up a bag at their local store.
So who’s the winner? Well, candy corn, of course. Regardless of the brand you pick, the candy itself endures eternally, a staple of trick-or-treat bags across the nation. Brach’s is my choice – what’s yours? Share in the comments below!