OMG this is AMAZEBALLS. Reese’s “kills it” (pun intended)—and now I can truly eat my bodyweight in peanut butter cups this Halloween. 😉

Ah, trick or treating. Brings back a lot of memories of cool autumn nights, itchy costumes, and LOTS of candy.
Of course, every candy haul was a “mixed bag”. There was the good stuff you were hoping for (yummy!) and like every year, there was a part of your candy haul, that weird stuff, that you wouldn’t touch if it was the last sweetness on earth.

What I wouldn’t have given for a machine that could transform all my icky candy for a bunch of one of the all-time best – Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups.Well, guess what? Somebody’s must’ve gotten that mental memo from a LOT of kids because we’ve gotten our wish!
Reese’s has created what I would argue is the best vending machine in the world – The “Candy Converter”!1
And it works just as its name states. Trick or Treaters don’t even have to wait to get home to sort out the unwanted bits – they just have to insert them into the machine – and like mana from heaven – the Candy Converters dispense those oh so delicious peanut butter cups. You can watch a bunch of happy kids (and more than a few grownups) make their candy exchanges  HERE.
WIN. As if there was any doubt.

But like any great PR stunt, marketing research was done (never proceed without marketing research, even on a “safe” assumption).
In the weeks leading up to Halloween, Reese’s conducted a survey,
the results of which showed that 90% of respondents would trade
their unwanted candy for their coveted cups.

Well, that settled it. True to their slogan, Reece’s was “Not Sorry” to trade their candy for their audience’s unwanted stuff. Not sorry at all (and why would they be?).
The Candy Converters made its big debut at the Tarrytown Halloween Parade in New York a few days before All Hallow’s Eve amid a dozen social media posts (tweets, Instagram mentions, and videos on Facebook and YouTube).

On Halloween, another converter showed up in New York’s Washington Square Park to the delight of many. In all, about 12,250 Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups were handed out in exchange for a lot of unwanted candy.
If you were curious about where all that extra candy went,
it didn’t go to waste – it was donated local food banks
(one person’s “trash” is another person’s “treasure” after all).

While everybody came away winners here the biggest one was by far Reece’s as was their plan of course:
In just three days before Halloween, they earned a whoppin’ 1,300 media placements, which included many of the big players:

NPR:  Reese’s Rolled Out A Candy Converter To Help Get Rid Of Unwanted Halloween Candy

New York Daily News: Reese’s sets up ‘candy converter’ vending machine that swaps out unwanted Halloween candy for peanut butter cups

Mashable: This Reese’s machine lets you exchange your trash Halloween candy for peanut butter cups

CNN: Reese’s created a machine to swap out all the Halloween treats you hate

Add to that: brand mentions on social media shot up 600% up to the big day. Their 12 social media posts received a combined 536,000 unique engagements, all with completely unpaid media support I will note.2

The maraschino cherry on top? Reese’s sweet PR move earned the candy maker a Clio Award, an annual award recognizing innovation and creative excellence in advertising, design, and communication.
Well done, Reece’s! Well done! (Can I get a peanut butter cup?)

Even if your PR promotional idea seems like shooting Swedish fish in a barrel, that’s not a reason to start working those plans without doing the research first. You know what they say about assumptions, right? Research gets you the facts and reality behind your changing market, so you don’t make an expensive mistake.

JOTO PR Disruptors’ expert Smart Market Research team uses precision survey tools to zero in on and fill the gaps in your knowledge – determining your clients’, prospects’, and other audiences’ needs and wants – saving you from wasting dollars – and instead boosting your ROI.

Be like Reese’s…
Let’s do the research before you leap.  | 888-919-4034

Sources:
1. “Halloween 2018 PR Stunts & Pranks”, Sketch, sketchevents.co.uk/2018/11/halloween-2018-pr-stunts-pranks/, November 06, 2018
2. Entis, Laura. “How a candy converter made Reece’s the ‘GOAT of Halloween’”, PRWeek.com, prweek.com/article/1499052/candy-converter-made-reeses-the-goat-halloween, November 14, 2018