Jell-O Tries Out Edgy Social Media Campaign
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
Jell-O is jiggling up the Twitter-verse.
NPR's Travis Larchuk reports the wholesome brand has an edgy new social media campaign.
TRAVIS LARCHUK, BYLINE: Jell-O's classic commercials end on these five letters...
(SOUNDBITE OF JINGLE)
UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: (Singing) J-E-L-L-O!
LARCHUK: But on Twitter, the company's pared it down to just three letters, F-M-L.
According to Jell-O's new Twitter campaign, that stands for Fun My Life. But on the Internet, F My Life is already a popular expression. Except the F usually stands for a different, more profane word.
For instance, someone might tweet: Three flat tires in six months, FML. Not really language many people would associate with products once represented by family-friendly comedian Bill Cosby.
Todd Hjermstad is Jell-O's senior brand manager.
TODD HJERMSTAD: It's a really fun brand. And so, you know, FML, being in the public lexicon as some times that maybe aren't so fun, we took those as a chance for us to use the fun of Jell-O to turn things around for folks.
LARCHUK: On Twitter, reactions to the campaign range from delighted to disgusted.
Helayne Spivak is managing director of Brandcenter, the advertising school at Virginia Commonwealth University. And she used to work on Jell-O's advertising near the end of the Cosby era.
HELAYNE SPIVAK: Oh my God, I wouldn't even think that word in my head when I was working on Jell-O.
LARCHUK: But she says she admires the company for taking a risk.
SPIVAK: I could love it or I could hate it, but as soon as it's successful, I'm going to say it was absolutely brilliant.
LARCHUK: Jell-O says the campaign will continue through the mid-June.
Travis Larchuk, NPR News.