Russell Stover is uniting fans on TikTok to create the “world’s biggest virtual hug”.
Though social distancing has made hugging taboo, Russell Stover has turned to TikTok to bring fans together from around the world for a virtual hug. The chocolate maker has enlisted popular TikTok star Jason Coffee to help promote the effort to his more than 18 million followers. The virtual hug will be an ongoing push as the pandemic persists, using numerous hashtags for the promotion, including #worldsbiggestvirtualhug, #quarantine, #healthheroes, and #russellstover. Since the campaign began on May 6, the #worldsbiggestvirtualhug hashtag has generated nearly 2 million views. For the campaign’s kickoff during National Nurses Week, Russell Stover donated chocolate to hospitals around the U.S. to thank healthcare heroes for their work.
The brand took to Instagram to promote the new campaign, including a short clip asking people to virtually hug. The chocolate company also worked with Giphy to create a line of GIFS as part of its national #MakeHappy campaign. The GIFS, all featuring hugs, can be shared on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and were originally released as part of Russell Stover’s Easter push, which included a virtual “Great Bunny Hunt” on Instagram. These promotions could be a smooth move for the brand, as confectionary companies like Russel Stover tend to receive high engagement rates across social media, according to a Gartner report.
Russell Stover is asking fans to embrace togetherness while adhering to social distancing through a sweet initiative that could raise loyalty with consumers who are looking for social connection during the pandemic.