Sweethearts candy makes digital valentines

Remember those pale little heart-shaped candies with adorable stamped words on them that you handed out to your friends in elementary school? You might have even written your friend’s name on the outside of a box before you passed it to them. Aw! But the fun with the nearly 150-year-old candy usually ends as soon as classroom valentines are no longer required.

Enter Twitter. The “#Tweethearts” campaign lets Twitter users send a love note of their choice to sweeties. People interested in customizing their own candies can tweet their message to @tweethearts.  The note then gets made into a screenshot of the iconic candy with your saying on the front. If you want to order the real thing, you can pay $29.99 for your message of choice to be stamped on actual Sweethearts and delivered within three to five business days.

“You see a drop-off in Sweetheart consumption a little after grade-school age,” said Alyssa Hills, director of marketing for Necco, the company that makes the candies. “Then you see it pick back up with custom printing — and that’s usually an adult consumer. People print custom hearts for weddings and baby showers or events. The bulk of the older orders are event oriented. The ‘#Tweethearts’ campaign helps span that generational gap.”

Last Friday, comedian Mindy Kaling Instagrammed her ‘love note’ of the #tweethearts offer with a quote from the ’90s romance-comedy, “My Best Friend’s Wedding”:

The post has generated more than 23,000 likes, though no mention of the brand was made. So far, more than 1,700 tweets have used the #tweethearts hashtag within the last nine days, but the recently created Twitter handle for the event currently has only 80 followers.

“It’s a really great mashup of taking something digital and turning it into a physical thing,” said Rick McHugh, vp creative director of Hill Holiday, which helped with the campaign.

Word of warning to the more risqué @tweethearts tweets: There’s a filter on what types of notes are accepted. Dreams of sending your sweetheart a racy treat will remain only dreams, for now.


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