Official Sponsor of Cancelled Events

McCANN , Bucharest / ROM / 2021


1 Bronze Eurobest
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Situation: Confectionery products were down severely in performance in the overall market, affected by a decrease in impulse shopping (treats at the office or on the go), hit also by the disappearance of get-togethers where in the past people used to buy sweets as gifts. Rom was down as well.

Brief: In the midst of all 2020 cancellations, Rom, Romania’s first chocolate bar, launched in 1964 and wrapped in the national flag colors, decided to go ahead with its business plans and launch its new hope for over the top sales- new chocolate wafer filled with iconic ROM filling, ROM Buzz.


Grow 1% in Share of market

Make Rom Buzz a top 5 product in the Rom portfolio

Increase in younger target (Gen Z) brand preference

Keep to the brand provocation and patriotic DNA.


We managed to transform the worst moment for a launch, the pandemic times, into a unique opportunity.

Enter ROM- the official sponsor of cancelled events.

ROM activated people to play a role in the mission to help the small Romanian brand sponsor for the first time a big international event. They could join and spread the outrageous and fun offers in order to reach the organisers.

In times when people were sad for the cancelled events, we chose to use a bold TOV, to disrupt the conversation and bring a smile to people’s faces in times when they needed it.

The campaign featured several movies in which a ROM representative pitches organizers all kinds of crazy sponsorship ideas, from chocolate filled arenas for Wimbledon, to crazy national flags at the EURO football tournament, to our own mascot, the Rom Buzz man, for Comicon.


The cultural context was undeniable. The majority of international sports, cultural, music events have been cancelled for 2020, and with them all advertising and sponsoring budgets from big brands.

Target research should us that for younger audiences, the Romanian origins of a product aren’t important, as they see themselves as global citizens. They invest all their money and time into experiences. But 2020 their whole life had been turned upside down, robbing them of all their enjoyment moments (hanging out with friends, parties, graduations, festivals, sports)


Breakthrough moment. To make ourselves relevant, ROM Buzz seized the opportunity and found a way to put Romania on the big scene and on the radar of young people, in less than ideal situation. ROM Buzz offered to sponsor the events that it could never afford before – CANCELLED ones. We knew this could have the effect of a big sponsorship without even


Any cancelled event in the world, could visit the campaign official website and find a sponsorship package that was right to them, available in a limited number. Most of the conversations were carried out on our social media channels. We couldn’t tag the event organizers as a brand, but we managed to do it through fans of the page and influencers.

We developed a real time response strategy, so when a new event, festival/concert/marathon would get cancelled, we produced new content on social media targeting it.

We used KOLs that were tied to one event or another to amplify the conversation and give it scale- for example, we used Simona Halep to respond to our proposal for Wimbledon.

We also had a local strategy of actually signing smaller local events- we became sponsors by designing a sponsorship offer where we offered free chocolate to anyone who


Rom Buzz became the brand’s most successful launch in history. We aimed at 80 tons sold but we managed to sell 155 tons in 5 months (out of 164 forecasted for the whole year) thus exceeding our objective by 93.75%1

The last 5 months saw our 1% SOM objective become 3.4% SOM in the Coated Wafers category; 3 times more than we hoped for.

With such a good performance, ROM Buzz not only made it to top 5 best sold ROM SKUs, it propelled it to top 3.

The campaign managed to sign more than 11 local sponsorships, for which we paid in chocolate, not money.

It was also a media success, with 4,842,677 page engagements in Facebook and Instagram, 43% view rate (25% benchmark) and 79,1% of the target audience reached.

The much desired Gen Z-ers paid attention to the campaign, contributing to an overall positive sentiment, which

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