Airheads Candy Sandwich

Client: Airheads

Industry: Consumer Goods

Our Role: PR Strategy and Execution


Summer is the peak season for the non-chocolate candy segment, a category that doesn’t have great brand loyalty. So even during its peak season, brand awareness and product innovation are paramount to success in the segment.

Compounding the lack of segment loyalty, traditional consumer purchase behaviors, (i.e. candy impulsively bought in the checkout line) had been disrupted by the pandemic.

With these challenges and a cluttered candy marketing space, Airheads and its partners, Highdive and Spool, set their sights on finding and owning a playful and unexpected moment as the brand’s first PR activation.

Airheads candy in its packaging


  • With increasingly fierce competition among the fast food chains, the Fried Chicken Sandwich wars had become a key marketing staple and the inadvertent talk of the country, generating tons of media interest and buzz with a target consumer segment that intersected with Airheads.
  • Airheads saw a rich opportunity to jump in on National Fried Chicken Day (July 6, 2021) and take advantage of this cultural phenomenon with a truly unexpected idea that would generate massive buzz and make Airheads the lone candy brand mentioned.


With the chicken sandwich wars dominating the news cycles, Airheads took a creative and bold approach, entering the chicken wars with their very own sandwich, a move no one saw coming.  

Spool and partner agency, Highdive, joined forces in coming up with a way to hijack the massive, mainstream media buzz tied to the Chicken Sandwich wars, Airheads introduced their own Airheads Candy Chicken Sandy. A sandwich that was a sweet, yet savory delight featuring fried chicken, coleslaw, spicy mayo, and pickles, AND a bun made entirely from Airheads Xtremes Belts, deliciously fused together. And did we mention that this all was pulled off in the span of about five weeks and with a very scrappy budget? Well, it was.

Airheads candy bun
AdAge Airheads Chicken Sandwich


Above all other results, Airheads dominated the headlines around the Fried Chicken Sandwich War, a result no one saw coming, much to the chagrin of the main fast-food chains. In fact, during the program, when “chicken sandwich” was searched on Google, the Airheads Chew Boom article was the first article to come up. In the span of about two weeks and with a very minimal PR budget, the program garnered 210 earned placements and 478M earned impressions – coverage that would have been the advertising equivalent of $5,000,000.

Influencer Results

Coverage spanned across key industry and target consumer media, with full, dedicated articles about Airheads and its playful activation in outlets like: AdAge, Adweek, Brobible, Chewboom, Foodsided, Hypebeast, Mashed, Takeout, Time Out, Yahoo, Candy Industry, Food & Wine, Guilty Eats, AOL, PR Week, Fast Company, and Mlive.

Influencer partner Adam Soko shared 1 in-feed reel and 2 story frames via his Instagram channel, resulting in more than 10K video views. In total, actual impressions reached 19k, doubling our actual impressions rate goal of 20% to 43%.

Adam Soko eating an Airheads Candy Sandwich
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