Blue Chip repositions Splenda as a wellness brand

A new campaign from agency Blue Chip repositions Splenda as a wellness brand, with the top low-calorie sweetener being the first step toward a healthier lifestyle.

Whereas sweeteners have been about restriction for calorie counters, the new Splenda courts wellness conscious consumers who follow food trends and seek balance in eating. Ads target people who prioritize eating healthier, managing weight and avoiding or controlling diabetes. Meanwhile, the tagline “It starts with Splenda” is rapidly becoming a rallying cry for the corporation.

“We’re reframing the narrative from restriction to celebration, and we’re transitioning from a functional conversation to an emotional one,” said Ami Krishan Senior Marketing Director at Splenda. “We’re offering a new generation an empowering, no-compromise sweetness rather than a restrictive flavor substitute. Sweetness is a mindset, not just a flavor. We’re telling people they can.”

Since Blue Chip became Splenda’s Agency of Record in March, the agency has taken an extended, fresh look at Splenda’s opportunities to create a new foundation for the brand.  The pillars are choice and celebration, and the advertising injects a feeling of freedom – that the journey to optimal health starts with Splenda. 

“A commodity brand needs a message as simple as the product,” said Jason Geis, vp/group creative director at Blue Chip. “’It starts with Splenda’ communicates a human truth everyone can interpret personally, whether that’s starting their day or starting a new life journey. We cast our spots with actors who exude the energy, joy and optimism of a new day, and we ended up with a more diverse group than you’ll see in most brand spots.” 

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Splenda has a full product portfolio that many consumers aren’t aware of. Because Splenda tastes like sugar, unlike other sweeteners, the brand can attract full-flavor seekers. For years, Splenda has delivered a variety of options with simple solutions to help consumers achieve a healthy, balanced lifestyle without sacrificing taste. The portfolio of products reinforces the position as a category leader with more delicious new products to come.

Variations of two commercials are running on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. A 30-second spot focuses on managing weight with depictions of people preparing and enjoying daily meals. “It starts with Splenda, every delicious way you’ll manage your weight today,” the voiceover intones “Enjoy the delicious taste of sugar without excessive calories or carbs. Why wait? Start with Splenda and see the difference today.”

Another ad focuses on managing diabetes with the simple message, “Start with Splenda, every way you manage your diabetes today.” The ad calls Splenda “the sweetener you’ll love and trust.” Six-second versions anchor in simple statements like, “Managing your diabetes? It starts with Splenda.” All show “the #1 brand recommended by doctors and dieticians” on the screen. 

Video ads will also appear on Amazon TV and Hulu starting in November, and on cable TV channels beginning in January. Splenda has also established partnerships with Meredith Magazines and WebMD, along with several other publishers, for recipe and lifestyle content. 

“’It starts with Splenda’ is more than an ad campaign; it’s a rallying cry for the culture at Splenda,” said Geis. “People in Splenda factories are printing t-shirts that say, ‘It starts with me.’ It’s making its way into corporate memos and addresses. That’s what makes this so special. It’s not every day that an agency gets to articulate a brand’s cultural mantra.”

Creative Credits

Splenda // Heartland Food Products

Senior Director of Marketing: Ami Krishan

Senior Brand Manager: Jeff Marvel

Associate Brand Manager: Jared McKinney

Blue Chip Marketing

Vice President, Group Creative Director: Jason Geis

Executive Producer: Diane Chacharon

Creative Director/Copywriter: Kit Fries

Creative Director/Art Director: Amanda Clower

Vice President, Director Client Leadership: Doug Ehninger

Associate Director, Client Leadership: Carolyn Cradick

Fiona Media Company

Director: Theresa Wingert

Executive Producer: Alex Carone


Editor: Carl Schumacher

Executive Producer: Jonathan Désir

Sonixphere Music

Creative Director, Executive Producer: Greg Allen

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