Necco, the candy maker best known for their Sweetheart confections, has launched a new marketing campaign to celebrate the candy's 150th anniversary. An elderly gay couple from Texas is the centerpiece of the company's attempt to modernize the definition of "sweethearts."
The couple, Jack and George, have been together for 55 years and they tell the story of their love and relationship in a video posted on the Share Your Sweet Story website. Consumers are invited to share their own stories "of sharing, love, friendship and words from the heart" on the site and can win $5,000.
Necco CEO Michael McGee told AdWeek, "Our communities are becoming bigger and more connected. For a brand, that means traditional, one-sided communication is not enough. You have to find ways to help consumers participate with your brand and have your conversation become interactive."
"We spent the day with them in their home and got to know them," he said. "We just kind of rolled the camera and let them tell their story. When you see how they interact with each other—their strength, their genuineness, their commitment to each other—they are just so endearing."
Traditionally linked to Valentine's Day, the little heart shaped messages of love aren't becoming radically progressive according to the ad agency; they're just updating to join the modern world.
"At this point, I'm not sure this subject is such a progressive theme," said Hill Holliday creative director Rick McHugh. "It's becoming somewhat mainstream, and that's a good thing."
Jack and George were married in 2015 after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
Watch below as the couple tell their sweetheart story. As the little candy hearts proclaimed in 2009, it's a RECIPE 4 LOVE: