Broadcasting Love to Millennials


Sweethearts Conversation Hearts, made by New England Confectionery Company (NECCO), have been a Valentine’s Day staple since 1866. While the candy has stood the test of time, attracting the next generation of fans has been challenging.

With a limited six-week retail window leading up to the holiday, NECCO charged Hollywood Agency with making millennials fall in love with Sweethearts. A year away from its 150th anniversary, the team conceptualized a call for young Americans to create a new phrase for the sesquicentennial.

The Today Show’s Orange Room was targeted for its interactive social media center. In the Orange Room, hosts and anchors analyze online trends and even prompt “Today” viewers and social media followers to weigh in during the show. Host Carson Daly elicited the help of America two weeks prior to Valentine’s Day to submit suggestions via a Sweethearts hashtag. Once suggestions were collected, fans voted on their favorite. On February 13th, host Tamron Hall, surrounded by the “Today” cast, announced that “Today” viewers chose “Pay It Fwd” as the winning phrase for its 150th celebration.