Nerds to Air Its First Big Game Ad


A bunch of Nerds will be at Super Bowl 58 this year, as Ferrara Candy’s Nerds brand will make its Big Game debut after 40 years.

Nerds will air a 30-second spot during the second quarter of the game, featuring the Nerds characters—fun globs with big eyes, two feet and no arms who look vaguely like the rock-shaped candies. The spot, which is being created by Digitas Chicago, will offer a fresh look at the Nerds characters while engaging all of the senses, according to a statement by the brand.

The ad will feature Nerds Gummy Clusters, which have the crunch of the original Nerds candies, but with a gummy center.

Not only will this be the first time that the Nerds candies have been featured in the Super Bowl, it will be the first time the Ferrara Candy company will be in the game.

Why now for Nerds?

The brand decided to show up on the biggest advertising stage after 40 years on the shelves because it has grown from $50 million to $500 million in annual retail sales in just five years, and it saw an opportunity for more growth.

Nerds was launched in 1983 by Sunmark Corp. under the Wonka candy brand, which was bought out by Nestlé. In 1985, the National Candy Wholesalers Association named Nerds “Candy of the Year.” Nerds have been made by the Ferrara Candy Company, a subsidiary of Ferrero Group, since 2018.

The candy brand has kept its colorful, small crunchy candies, but it has branched out over the years. In 2001, Nerds Rope was introduced, along with updates to the packaging for the first time since 1985. In 2010, Food Network’s Unwrapped visited the Nerds factory to show how the Rope was made.

After Ferrara took over, the company introduced Big Chewy Nerds and Sour Big Chewy Nerds. In 2021, Gummy Clusters were launched, and it is now the top selling candy in the sugar candy category, according to the brand, with 67% year-over-year sales growth. To meet consumer demand, Nerds increased its manufacturing capacity by 360% and tripled its marketing investments.  

The brand is no stranger to popular culture. In 2018, retro-1980s show Glow featured the candy and its “Candy of the Year” title in an episode, and in 2021, Nerds partnered with Dungeons & Dragons for an exclusive D&D campaign.

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