Case Study: How Hershey's Friendship Day campaign garnered a reach of 4 Mn on Instagram

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Hershey's case study

Here's a look how Hershey's Campaign engaged its younger target group through an Instagram reels activation in an integrated campaign that leveraged influencers while creating an immersive virtual experience of sharing a chocolate bar with a friend.

Designed to promote the sharing of indulgent Hershey’s chocolate bars, Hershey's #MeantToBeShared campaign celebrated the special bond of friendship on social media. We take a detailed look at its execution and results.

Category Introduction

  • The chocolate category in Urban India is valued at INR 9,107 Crs (MAT Jun’21) as per Nielsen RMS data
  • Most chocolate brands try to drive differentiation through a distinct emotional proposition, indulgence and by creating higher relevance on topical occasions during the year.

Brand Introduction

  • The Hershey’s brand believes in making more moments of goodness with its delicious products ranging from Hershey's chocolates, Hershey’s syrup, Hershey’s spreads, Hershey’s milk shake, Hershey’s cocoa powder, Hershey's hot chocolate, Sofit and Jolly Rancher.
  • Launched In India recently, in 2020, Hershey’s bar is a 125-year-old legacy brand worldwide. It’s a premium chocolate brand available in 3 distinct flavors – Creamy Milk, Whole Almonds and Cookies Creme.
  • The brand plays within the premium chocolate category, and is targeted to Urban Indian GenZ & Millennial Consumers. While the current awareness for Hershey’s stands at 90%, the awareness for Bar is at 60%. The brand wants to continue to build awareness, drive recall, and build relevance.

Problem Statement/ Objective

The core objective for the brand was to

  • Establish the core proposition of “Dip the moment in Hershey’s”. Hershey’s brand has been built around the idea of `Celebrating Togetherness’ – which is about enabling loved ones to bond over happy food moments. Hence, the primary objective was to establish that the indulgent chocolaty, Hershey’s Bar can be relished over sharing.
  • To be more relevant for the younger TG and establish an appropriate fit for the brand on the occasion of Friendship Day


  • Friendship Day is a growing chocolate category occasion, and has a huge salience within Younger TG that continues to search for ideas to make their BFF feel special on this day. The plans are made much in advance.
  • On such a competitive topical occasion, being a new entrant & a Digital First brand, Hershey’s Bar wanted to appeal and create a stronger connect with the product for its consumers.


Leverage Friendship Day to attract Millennials and Gen Z & create a strong brand connection around celebrating & expressing the bonding moments with Hershey’s Chocolate bar. The idea should be Digital First.

Creative Idea


  • India has the 2nd highest Instagram user base in the world (~80 mn MAU). A whooping ~65% of them are Millennials and Gen Z. Daily average time spent on app is about ~45 min. GenZ & Millennials prefer Instagram Reels to always stay tuned. From food, travel, OOTD to sharing and expressing their relationship, they use them for sharing every moment with their friends and family.
  • With Pandemic, consumers are on a constant watchout for innovative virtual ways to celebrate their bond.

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Insight & Idea

Our life is full of surprises, and heart-warming moments. The first thing we do at any moment which is memorable, happy, sad is to call or text a friend and share the story with them. In times of social distancing, since our consumers are so eager to connect and rejuvenate their bond in every way possible, we thought as a chocolate brand that believes in celebrating simple moments of bonding with our loved ones it would be ideal to create a campaign which focuses on shareable experiences.

The brand wanted to enable our consumers to relive and cherish all their Friendship Memories, all while sharing delicious Hershey’s Bars, this time Virtually. Hence, this Friendship Day, Hershey’s launched the First Instagram-Shareable Grid–, a unique virtual experience of eating and sharing a Hershey’s Bar, all while sharing Friendship Stories. 


  • Using the archive feature on Instagram in a cool and engaging way, the brand brought a Digital innovation alive, where it went live with a Hershey’s Chocolate Bar on Hershey India Instagram Grid.

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  • Each chocolate pip on the grid celebrated a kind of friendship story (Break Up moment, Class Bunk and so on). Hershey's India asked its followers to share their friendship story which they cherish with their Best Friend on the comments section and tag as many of their friends as possible to share that moment with them.
  • The only twist is that the moment each chocolate pip (post on the grid) would receive 250 comments aka friendship stories, the Chocolate PIP would disappear (archived).

  • To amplify this activity, the brand also collaborated with @TEENTIGADA, the famous BFF Trio on Instagram, who have a massive following of over 10M collective followers. They kickstarted this activity with an INSTAGRAM LIVE, and shared their stories of meeting for the the first time, bloopers that their fans loved. All this while sharing a Hershey’s Bar and commenting on our Grid.
  • This feature encouraged participation and within 1 hour of LIVE, the entire Hershey’s Bar disappeared aka eaten by the Hershey’s fans and consumers and resulted in a massive organic participation on the page.
  • TEEN TIGADA, also kickstarted a special Reel challenge. Our Phone memory is full of moments that we have cherished with our BFFs. The brand asked TeenTigada to share their old friendship video (moment) on Reels, using Hershey’s “BetterTogether brand song” and tell us why that story is #MeantTobeshared, just like Hershey’s Bar.

  • Soon, Hershey's got 100’s of MicroInfluencers & User Generated Content in the form of #Friendship Day Reels – From Birthday celebrations to pajama parties, to college farewell memories, our Instagram Page got flooded with several heartwarming Friendship Stories. 


  • The overall campaign, including the #MeantTobeShared’ delivered over 10.3 million impressions, with a reach of 4.2 million unique consumers on Instagram.
  • The Total Delivered Terrific Engagements, and the total engagements including likes, comments, shares, and reel interactions crossed ~4Lakhs, out of which 50% was organic.
  • The Organic Reel Views on reels crossed ~1.5 Million Views. 
  • Since the activity was played on the Hershey India Instagram page, Hershey’s also witnessed a massive surge in profile visits & brand page grew by 12% in a day’s time.

Commenting on this Ankit Desai, Marketing Director said, ‘Enabling everyone to savor simple moments of joy, is at the heart of the Hershey’s brand. We have showcased this innovatively through our digital campaigns. With the #MeantToBeShared campaign, we wanted to topically bring alive the core values of sharing and bonding moments with delicious Hershey's Chocolate Bars. Despite the challenges of today, we have all managed, in our unique way, to maintain a strong bond of friendship. These small, yet precious moments have helped us emerge stronger. This campaign, and the stories which we shared through this campaign, is to acknowledge and appreciate our friends who continue to bring about a ray of hope and positivity in our lives.’

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