Russell Stover Chocolates has launched the “Make happy.” campaign, its first major creative brand initiative in more than two decades.

With the introduction of a refreshed signature chocolate assortment and a box makeover inspired by the iconic kettles in its candy kitchen, Russell Stover is reinforcing that its chocolates are the perfect gift for seasonal and everyday occasions.  

At the heart of the campaign is a celebration of the joy of gifting and the feelings of happiness that come with bestowing a gift of Russell Stover chocolates to a friend or loved one. To bring this theme to life, Russell Stover collaborated with its creative agency of record, Cutwater, to develop a narrative around gifting that could be told through paid, earned and social media channels.

The centerpiece of the “Make happy.” campaign is a national broadcast advertisement titled “Hugs,” which follows a series of stories of anticipation, moments of giving and the delivery of a heartwarming reward of a smile or a hug. 

The ad features an original song written and performed by Roc Nation artist and soulful storyteller Victory Boyd. The track – “I Wanna Make You Happy” – plays throughout the 30-second spot depicting various gifting moments American consumers experience every day. Tying brand elements together across various formats, the Russell Stover signature copper bow is prominently displayed throughout. 

“Russell Stover is proud to carry on the tradition of crafting chocolates to create simple moments of joy that make life sweeter in today’s world,” said Mark Riegel, v.p. of marketing for Russell Stover. “With this new creative campaign and our partnership with the very talented singer and songwriter Victory Boyd, we are excited to elevate our brand’s cultural relevance and continue to promote ‘Make happy.’ moments while spreading the joy of gifting.”

“I made a song that feels as sweet as Russell Stover chocolate tastes,” Boyd added. “This is a perfect collaboration!”  

Russell Stover turned to consumers to co-create the design of its new gift box. A first ever effort for the brand, conversations began in early 2018 among Russell Stover enthusiasts and “joyful gifters” – a consumer demographic comprised of thoughtful, trusted friends who demonstrate their love and generosity by surprising others with just the right gesture. Consumer insights led the brand to simplify its flavor assortment to contain more of what buyers want. 

The insights also led to modernized packaging designed to attract new consumers while retaining enough traditional elements to preserve the brand’s iconic heritage. The new copper-colored gift box design, which won the QVC Customer Choice Food Award, is a nod to copper kettles in small batch candy kitchens. It contains images of gift bows, all enclosed with a paper sleeve, making it perfectly gift worthy for any occasion.