Holding your phone over your mouth, picking from one of “ten mouthy characters”, selecting your favorite phrase topic, you are “blurting out” sweet nothings to whoever’s standing nearby without really opening your mouth. This is a mobile app, Sweet Talk, in the iTunes App Store, launched by Juicy Fruit, the Wrigley‘s gum brand since 2010.
Introduced in 1893, Juicy Fruit is recognized by 99 percent of Americans. However, with more and more similar candy brands emerging, Juicy Fruit faces a fierce competition in the market. Hoping to regain relevance among its teen audiences, Juicy Fruit decided to launched the Sweet Talk app, targeting phone-obsessed, share-crazy millennials.
Generally, it’s an user-friendly app with clean and concise page design. There are ten mouthy characters with more than forty sweet sayings on the menu. The characters include DJ Spraytan, “a fist-pumper from the Jersey Shore,” who says things like, “You’re so sweet, I wanna take you on the tilt-a-whirl. You gonna keep the cookies in the jar, or what?” For people who want to invite your friends to hang out together, Mama Cita would be your best wingman. Her catchy phrases include:”You’re so sweet, I’m gonna take you out for an ice-cream sundae. You’re the toppings!”
As an entertainment app, Sweet Talk was definitely a brilliant idea. It provides an effective way for Juicy Fruit to engage its target users, expressing the clear content theme, “You’re so sweet”. Additionally, the company successfully caught the attention of mobile owners who are looking for information on Juicy Fruit or entertaining mobile content.
From my perspective, Sweet Talk is also a social app inherently. Growing up with the popularity of social media, Millennial enjoy showing off their life stories through social media, like Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat. It’s not surprising that when they discover an app like Sweet Talk, they would treat it like a social currency, and tend to share it with their friends. Without doubt, Sweet Talk did achieve a great success. To date, it has been downloaded over 2.3 million times, with four and a half stars rating in the iTunes App Store.
Good performance as it achieved, Sweet Talk app is facing some serious problems now. With the quick development of mobile technology, placing a phone over the mouth cannot attract millennials anymore. I found it really inconvenient to use other tools, not my phone, to take a video of Sweet Talk, because I have to hold my phone over my mouth. For this reason, I quickly decided to delete it.
To be honest, Sweet Talk was appealing and innovative a few years ago, but is out-of-date now. Its inconvenient design is definitely putting a brake on its spreading. Especially today, most apps provide the selfie function that can put the fictitious pictures over your face automatically when the program recognizes your face. Moreover, when you search for videos with key words like “Sweet Talk” or “You’re so sweet“, most popular videos on Youtube were made three to four years ago. How to keep its successful social influence will be a big task for both Juicy Fruit and Sweet Talk app.
Nowadays, more brands in the snack industry have begun using mobile entertainment app as a tool to drive brand engagement or to increase brand awareness. However, the performances of these apps are not as satisfactory as they expected. Some did achieve a short-term success, like Juicy Fruit’s Sweet Talk, while some were rejected by the users directly. There are two important goals, I think, every brand who wants to carry out mobile app strategies must contemplate. First of all, how to attract more mobile users, including its loyal brand fans, to download the app? The Sweet Talk did a good job. After fulfilling the first goal, all brands need to figure out how to retain the success for a long term. It’s necessary for the brand’s app to make its users feel worthwhile to keep it on their smartphone. This is the most difficult, and I haven’t heard about one successful example yet. If you know one, welcome to tell me. It’s my honor to hear from you.
Last but not least, you’re so sweet, and keep sweet everyday!🍭