Energy BBDO & Alert Caffeine Gum got this thing now


I like a tasty donut with my coffee (and now, thanks to Charlotte, vegan donuts). A garlic bagel with lox, cream cheese and capers as well? You betcha.

But gum? Hmm.

According to a quirky new campaign for Alert Gum by Chicago’s Energy BBDO, caffeine gum’s a thing now.

Alert Caffeine Gum is a first-of-its-kind from Mars Wrigley Confectionary. With 40 mg of caffeine per piece — the equivalent of half a cup of coffee — it offers adults a simple and portable alternative to energy drinks, coffee and soda.

In order to get the word out about Alert Caffeine Gum, the brand has launched a new creative platform, from the creative team of Paul Carpenter and Chris George, which owns the uniqueness of the product. While gum and caffeine don’t normally mix, the team has created a tagline that touts, “That’s a thing now.”

The new campaign launched last weekend on Facebook and YouTube kicking off with a timely activation around Daylight Savings Time. Still getting used to the time change? I sure am and it sucks. Alert clearly agrees as it poked fun at how much Daylight Savings sucks with this 1:29 music video. Oh and it’s sung by a character in a blazer with Alert Gum as its head:



This isn’t the first rodeo for Alert. The gum was originally introduced in 2013, but then halted production after the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) announced it was investigating the safety of caffeine in food amid concerns about the effect on children and teens. Since its introduction the market has seen a slight rise in the number of entrants in the caffeine gum category including Raw Gum, Kerry Gum and Jolt Energy Gum. Here’s a look at a amusing :15 spot for Alert. This one tackles dating:



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If by this time, you still haven’t gotten the concept of Alert, the brand doesn’t care as it playfully pokes fun at itself in this now popular :06 format:



In the coming weeks, there will be a total of 20 different social films featuring colorful characters and depicting that caffeine gum is “a thing now.” Mars Wrigley will sell the gum across all channels including – c-stores, mass, grocery, drug and online. The company will also increase spending support in 2018 with online, social and paid media.

So the bottom line, do I like the campaign? Well, yes. I think the creative team of Carpenter and George have created work that’s bold, colorful and knows what it is. I think audiences will get a boost from the work alone. See what I did there?


Client: Alert Caffeine Gum
Title: “That’s a Thing Now”

Agency: Energy BBDO
   Chief Creative Officer: Andrés Ordóñez
   Executive Creative Director: Josh Gross
   Executive Creative Director: Pedro Pérez
   Creative Director: Alejandro Juli
   Creative Director: Manuel Torres
   Copywriter: Paul Carpenter
   Art Director: Chris George
   Executive Producer: John Pratt
   Senior Producer: Jeff Davis
   Director of Music: Daniel Kuypers

Managing Director: Jeff Adkins
   Client Service Director: Lianne Sinclair
   Global Account Director: Jamie DeFer
   Account Supervisor: Layne Steele Paddon
   Global Strategy Director: Allison Arling-Giorgi
   Program Director: Jeremy Hawking

Production Company: Flare
   Photographer: Brian Cooper
   Executive Producer: Mitch Monzon
   Animation: Jason Voke
   Sound design/Mix: Sarah Krohn

Have new work? Contact Colin Costello at or follow him on Twitter @colincostello10.