Russell Stover Chocolates and Cutwater Adjust to Virtual Market this Easter


By thesanfranciscoegotist / /

Russell Stover and Cutwater have announced a new iteration of its ‘Make Happy’ campaign from 2019 – this time with a nod to how we’re all sheltered in place during the pandemic. Since we won’t be gathering for giant Easter egg hunts, they’re enabling the community to send virtual hugs to loved ones, as a way to cope and build human connections through little moments of joy and love.

“For almost 100 years, our brand has been a source of happiness. We know it’s difficult for people to connect in person right now, so we wanted to make it easier for them to make others happy through a hug (virtually),” said Mark Riegel, Vice President of Marketing at Russell Stover.

The campaign is airing in national markets and is supported by digital and social posts, including one in response to the current climate, as well as custom-created gifs of ‘TV hugs’ to be sent virtually to friends and family during this time of social distancing.

“The Easter season is one of many family reunions and togetherness and with social distancing still being a health priority, we wanted to emphasize that even during these times our mutual desire for human connection cannot be quarantined,” said Chuck McBride at Cutwater. “Sending a virtual hug felt like a Make Happy thing to do.”

In addition to the Virtual Hugs adaptation of this campaign, there’s a virtual bunny hunt for Easter in light of America’s need to social distance. From April 6th-12th, the brand, the agency and select influencers will be hiding chocolate bunnies in various Instagram posts. The user that captures the most chocolate bunnies will win an entire year of Russell Stover chocolate for their family and a friend’s.

Creative Credits

Client // Russell Stover Chocolates

  • Chief Executive Officer -Andrew Diester
  • VP of Marketing – Mark Riegel
  • Integrated Marketing- Pat Swindle
  • Creative Director – Kathryn Castle
  • Senior Brand Manager -Brian Burchield
  • E-Commerce Manager- Angela Fickess
  • Digital Marketing Analyst – Madison Llewellyn    

Agency // Cutwater

  • Co-Founder/Chief Creative Officer – Chuck McBride
  • Co-Founder/Principal – Christian Hughes
  • Head of Production/Executive Producer – Michael Huntley
  • Creative Director – Sean Flores
  • Copywriter – Andrew Singleton
  • Art Director – Vicky David
  • Art Director – Cullen Newsome
  • Editor – Michael Pavoni
  • Group Account Director- Sandy Laliberte
  • Account Manager – Noah Zepponi
  • Head of Comms & Media- Pip Bingemann
  • Media Director – Lizzy Ryan
  • Head of Strategy- Ilana Bryant
  • Social Media Strategist- Viktor Torbjörnsen    

PR Support // 160over90

  • Executive Vice President – Samantha Stark
  • Kim Yates – Vice President New Brand & Business Model Development
  • Senior Account Director- Bates Grainger
  • Account Director – Kristen Mcmahon    

Content Production // Pulse/Person

  • Production Company – Pulse/Person
  • Director – Michael Haussman
  • Global President of Commercials – Davud Karbassioun
  • Head of Production- Jennifer Ingalls
  • Executive Producer – Cecile Leroy
  • Executive Producer – Darren Foldes
  • Producer – Cecile Leroy
  • Line Producer – Cecile Leroy
  • DP – Paolo Caimi
  • AD – Alberto Mangiante
  • 2nd AD – Luca Padrini
  • Production Designer – Francesca Di Mottola
  • Casting Agent/Director – Studio T, Gianni Laricchiuta
  • Photographer – Viviana Berti    

Finishing // Framestore

  • Finish – Gretchen Capatan
  • Finish – Carlos Adarraga
  • Conform – Evan Reinhard
  • Colorist – Beau Leon
  • Color Assist – Nabil Moo    

Mix // One Union

  • Audio Engineer – Andy Greenberg
  • Producer – Jaylen Block-Smith  

Music // Victory Boyd

  • Artist – Victory Boyd
  • Composer – Victory Boyd
  • Audio Engineer – Oliver Strauss
  • Publisher – The Songs Of Glory
  • Label – Roc Nation

Audio // Quislife

  • Recording Studio – Quislife Detroit Recording Studio
  • Audio Engineer – Marquis Johnson
  • Producer – Marquis Johnson
  • Producer – Eric Johnson
  • Producer – Gary Johnson   

Audio // Mission Sound

  • Recording Studio – Mission Sound Recording, Brooklyn
  • Audio Engineer – Oliver Strauss


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