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Proud Sponsor of Cancelled Events

Reinventing sponsorships, one sweet bite at a time

ROM Spokes person standing in front of an office window with a banner stating “+3.4 market share in a new category”.

With small budgets and big ambitions, ROM has always managed to activate the national spirit and bring people together around different causes.

So at a time when the world was overwhelmed with bad news, cancellation and a massive gap of entertainment, brave local chocolate brand ROM found an opportunity. 

They set out to be the official sponsor of cancelled events.  

We chose to use a bold POV — to disrupt the conversation and bring a smile to peoples faces in times when they needed it most. 

It impacts people on so many different levels. And I think it plays the part of… sort of like a national inspiration. 

— Listen to more of Ioana’s insight on this experience

ROM Buzz Man superhero bobblehead figure

ROM Buzz seized the opportunity to turn a negative into a positive, while also finding a way to put Romania on the big scene and on the radar of young people. 

The campaign kicked off with several pieces of entertaining video content in which a ROM representative pitches organizers all kinds of crazy sponsorship ideas: from chocolate-filled arenas for Wimbledon, to crazy national flags at the EURO football tournament, to our own proposed mascot for Comicon — the Rom Buzz Man. 

With messaging that directly targeted cancelled events in Romania — or any cancelled event in the world, for that matter — event organizers were encouraged to visit ROM microsite to find a unique sponsorship package for their event.  

ROM also activated the consumer base to play a role in the mission and help this small Romanian brand sponsor a big international event — they were given a chance to join in and spread the outrageous offers to reach the organizers. 

Most of the conversations took place on our social media channels — while we couldn’t tag the event organizers as a brand, we were able to do it through influencers and fans of the page.  

We developed a real-time response strategy. So when a new event would unfortunately get cancelled — a festival, concert or marathon, for example — we were able to immediately start targeting it and produce new content on social media. We also reignited the conversation every time a cancellation was trending in the news.  

Woman in ROM Buzz candy bar costume holding tennis balls Woman in ROM Buzz candy bar costume holding tennis balls Woman in ROM Buzz candy bar costume holding tennis balls

Select opinion leaders were also leveraged to further amplify the conversation. For example, we were able to partner with Romanian tennis star Simona Halep to respond to our proposal for Wimbledon.

At a local level, we actively sought out smaller events to bring into the initiative. For each cancelled event, we developed a sponsorship package that offered free chocolate to anyone who had a ticket. 

ROM Buzz became the brand’s most successful launch in history. We aimed to sell an ambitious 80 tons, but managed to sell 155 tons in 5 months (out of 164 forecasted for the whole year), thus exceeding our objective by 93.75%.