American Rom, a campaign of deception run in Romania in 2010, has won the Grand Prix in the Promo & Activation Lions at Cannes International Festival of Creativity. Romania’s ROM, manufactured by Kandia Dulce, is the traditional chocolate bar that all Romanians grew up with. Wrapped in the national flag, it had an ageing, nostalgic consumer base and was losing ground with the young generation who preferred cool American brands. McCann Erickson challenged young people’s national ego by replacing ROM’s packaging with an American version.
The campaign started in-store with the controversial change and promo activities. The bold move was then amplified on ATL with all channels further directing people online, inviting debate on the campaign’s microsite, noulrom.ro, and the product’s Facebook page. As patriotic fervour reached its climax, with people stocking up on traditionally packaged ROM bars, the campaign shifted. Overnight, advertising began to reveal the point of the campaign, celebrating the renewed national support of the brand on the site romautentic.ro.