On Wednesday, the National Retail Federation announced that consumers will spend a total of $16.4 billion on Easter sales, $2.2 billion on candy alone – which includes all those treats that goes into children’s Easter baskets.
And whether you love them or hate them, Easter baskets are incomplete without those iconic colorful marshmallow chicks, Peeps. Approximately 1.5 billion Peeps are consumed during the Easter season. It is also regularly declared as the most popular non-chocolate candy in the Easter basket.
Peeps are so popular, there’s even an annual Peeps Day in Maryland, complete with the World Peeps Eating Championship. Even Takeru Koayashi, competitive eating celebrity, has taken on the candies. There are also a number of craft contests in which contestants must use Peeps in their crafts and dioramas – did you know that a third of all Peeps purchased go into crafts projects?
Compared to some other popular Easter brands (ahem, Cadbury), Peeps tends to spend less on advertising and relies on word-of-mouth and tradition for its advertising. But in 2013, the Pennsylvania-based, family-owned candy brand released its first TV campaign in more than a decade. The spot kicked off an ongoing, year-round campaign in attempt to woo consumers over in non-Easter times.
In the 2013 ‘Brothers’ spot, a pair of adorable young boys discuss the ways that Peeps are both consumed and utilized. They can be eaten, smashed, microwaved, made into historically-accurate diaoramas, and my favorite – Peeps in a blanket.
And prior to the 2013 campaign, Peeps released just one other TV spot in its long history. In 1999, Peeps released a spot that featured a catchy jingle and (at-the-time) state of the art computer animation. In the commercial, a computer-generated ensemble of marshmallow chicks and rabbits perform to the tune of “Rockin’ Robin.”