Cannes Lions








Since its 1964 launch, ROM chocolate has been a symbol of Romanian pride. With the 2010 American Rom campaign, the brand strengthened this position. But, after one year off-air, ROM’s market share and brand indicators were going down. The brand needed a turnaround, all within a very small budget.The brief was to create a campaign that would have ROM rekindle people’s national pride for December 1st - Romania’s National Day - a date that meant little but another day off to our 25-35-year-old core target.Our solution was rooted in a stunning discovery: if one Googled: ‘Romanians are’ in various languages the suggested search predictions were all derogatory. In addition French and Italian media had just launched backlash campaigns against Romanian immigrants.

We set out to change Romanians’ image on Google – the perfect means for ROM to reach its communication objectives and re-awaken national pride.


Inspired by the discovery that various local Google pages gave offensive predictions for ‘Romanians are…’ search, our idea was to have our brand, ROM chocolate, endorse a national pride campaign aimed at changing the above statement.

We built ‘Romanians are smart’- an online and offline media content platform, where regular people, bloggers, key opinion leaders and the mainstream media could build positive content about Romanians.

Since the content we were proposing was playing hard on Romanians’ nationalistic values, the public’s interest was easy to stir. Using ‘Romanians are smart’ as a content property, we integrated our message without direct use of branding into mainstream media content, including live newscasts.


After the one month of airing various forms of branded content, we generated 664,332 searches via ROM’s website. Additional searches were generated as people directly googled the campaign or used partner websites. Over 30 key opinion leaders lent their support for the campaign and were recorded in video testimonials. CRBL, one of Romania’s leading rap artists released a song inspired by the campaign during our live December 1st TV marathon.More than 600 national and international online posts contributed positive content on Romanians and on the campaign, increasing tenfold the number of Google search results (from 200,000 to about 3m).

On December 1st, the number of positive searches peaked at 62,655. In addition, after December 1st, 12 more distinguished Romanian leaders joined in the campaign via TV testimonials aired and produced by Realitatea TV.With an investment just under €20,000 (including media and content production), ROM’s campaign earned €577,000 in offline media and €487.320 in online media, bringing a 20% boost in sales and an 8% rise in market share vs 2010. Most importantly, the campaign managed to make Romania the first country that has succeeded in changing Google’s predictions via a 1month, nationwide effort.

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