Hershey’s smart packaging honors women

With an HP Indigo 20000 digital press from the Brazilian Camargo Cia de Embalagens, 320,000 limited edition #HerShe chocolate bars were made

Edson Perin

Hershey Company has harnessed the power of fingerprint technology to transform its iconic candy bar packaging into a celebration of women. Now, for the third year in a row, and coinciding with International Women’s Day, the #HerShe campaign makes the Hershey’s milk chocolate bar packaging promote and honor female talent around the world.

Launching the campaign for the first time in 2020, Hershey collaborated with HP Indigo and used a digital printer HP Indigo 20000, from the Brazilian print service provider Camargo Cia de Embalagens, to develop 320,000 limited-edition #HerShe chocolate bars. The campaign, which featured works of art to celebrate the talent of women musicians, illustrators, photographers and poets from all over Brazil, was hugely successful. In Brazil, the parallel social media campaign reached around 2 billion impressions.

Fast forward to 2022, the campaign is being run in collaboration with HP Indigo Digitally Printed Packaging for the third time and will help make “invisible” women visible by supporting gender equality through a global movement that celebrates women’s achievements in science, business, sports, activism and music.

This year, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars feature a QR Code, also printed with an HP Indigo 20000 digital press, which opens consumers’ eyes to the many contributions of women. Additionally, HP released a film with Hershey, expanding on how HP Indigo digitally printed packaging can be used, not only to keep food safe and airtight, but also to increase brand engagement through co-creation of generated content by the user, to become an ultimate vehicle of cultural relevance.

For Santhi Ramesh, CMO international at Hershey, the HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press was the ideal solution for this campaign, designed with diverse label and packaging applications in mind. “Empowering women and promoting diversity, equity and inclusion is a business priority for us. We invite new perspectives, ideas and experiences into everything we do to reflect the diversity of consumers around the world. Throughout the campaign, HP has helped us open our eyes to the power of digitally printed packaging, allowing us to interact with our audiences in creative and unique ways while celebrating women and their achievements globally,” says Ramesh.

The 29-inch image width HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press can capture most packaging applications, including flexible packaging, shrink sleeve, wrap-around labels and in-mold labeling, and contains the only digital color printing process that matches printing gravure printing, providing high resolution printing and perfect registration. This allowed Hershey to meet the brand’s strict color needs using seven stations of ink, while bringing women’s voices and stories to life.

Jose Gorbea, global director of Brands, Agencies and Sustainability at HP Indigo, says he’s loved seeing how the #HerShe campaign has evolved over the past three years. “I’m excited to see what other storytelling opportunities HP digital printing technology can achieve to make tangible connections and more engagements with consumers.”

A September 2021 survey presented by HP on the marketing effectiveness of digitally printed packaging, in which more than 9,000 marketing campaigns were analyzed and compared, highlights that brands have the potential to double their ROI in sales and marketing when using personalization of user-generated content on their packaging.

HP Indigo press in action: 320,000 limited series packs

“This can be achieved through digital printing, which is why now 70% of digitally printed packaging campaigns like Hershey’s are being used strategically as the primary communication touchpoint of the marketing mix to build the brand value,” added Gorbea.

In 2020, we reported in the IoP Journal the #HerShe campaign, identified as an innovative initiative by the then CEO of the Brazilian subsidiary, Marcel Sacco (see in Hershey utiliza suas embalagens de modo inteligente: como mídia).

That year, there was also the #HEROES campaign, also from Hershey, with HP Indigo printers from Camargo Cia de Embalagens, which paid tribute to the action of health workers in the pandemic (read more at Impressão Digital e seus efeitos no design).

Smart packaging came to transform and improve the way of doing business, providing consumers with joy and good emotions in relation to brands.

The World needs more and more of this. Especially now, to alleviate this war scenario…