Statistics show that 68% of Russians celebrate Teachers’ Day by choosing to show their gratitude towards them through chocolates. Every year on 5th October, the 1,225,000 teachers in the country receive boxes of chocolates as a gift. That’s a lot of sweets, right? Or is it?

During this week’s #ThrowBrandThursday, we are going to see what happened to some of the chocolates given out on the holiday. Teaming up with Serviceplan Russia, Cherkizovo, the country’s largest manufacturer of meat products, launched a new product titled “Hamcolates,” an alternative that replaced the sweets with ham. The unusual gift borrowed a packaging design similar to a box of chocolates, only instead of sweets, it hosted ham.

Chocolates seem to be the main gift that is given out in Russia during different holidays. Yet, the agency tried to slightly change the country’s traditional chocolate-giving habit by seeding videos on social media representing WhatsApp chats of parents and teachers just before Teachers’ Day. This led to a discussion about the unusual chocolates and triggered a social media buzz.

Shortly after the holiday, the brand launched “Candy Trade-in,” inviting teachers to exchange the unwanted sweets for Hamcolates in O’KEY supermarkets. In just two days, 550 boxes of chocolates were replaced with the new product. After the launch, Hamcolates started a social media campaign challenging any occasion for sweet gifts while presenting the alternative solution of giving meat gifts in an ironic way.

Evgenia Arabkina, Executive Creative Director, Serviceplan Russia, commented: “Creativity has no limits. It was a fun and pleasure to create a provocative product concept, to work on its pack design, and then to use the power of situational marketing to launch it. This is what represents our Übercreativity approach. And it is just a beginning.”

The campaign’s communication strategy and creative materials were developed by Serviceplan Russia, whilst Louder agency — part of Serviceplan Group in Russia — was in charge of PR and media support.


Client: Cherkizovo

Marketing Director: Irina Kim

Brand Director: Nataliya Dementyeva

Senior Brand Manager: Antonina Vishnevskaia

Brand Manager: Shushanna Alanian

Marketing Communications Manager: Irina Kalinina

Worldwide Executive Creative Director, Serviceplan Group: Jason Romeyko

Agency: Serviceplan Russia

Chief Executive Officer: Olga Starichenko

Executive Creative Director: Evgenia Arabkina

Strategic Planning Director: Anastasia Boykova

Senior Account Manager: Sergey Martyshin

Senior Copywriter: Andrey Artyushin

Art Director: Ksenia Golovina

Junior Art Director: Anastasia Khizovets

Creative Designer: Alexander Pshikin

Junior Designer: Sergey Sedunov

Senior Interactive Designer: Maxim Kazantsev

Junior Interactive Designer: David Khandamov

International Communications Officer, Serviceplan Group – Lee Sharrock


Head of Communications & Content: Anastasia Gritskova

Client Group Director: Veronika Zakharova

Media Manager: Zarina Molova

Community Manager: Elena Koliubakina