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By: Shari Bronson

What are the qualities that make a beloved brand, and what role does advertising play in that relationship? Tootsie Roll industries is an interesting example of a company that has a stable of brands that have minimal advertising and marketing support, yet the company has continued to grow over the years. I’m sure the business and operational philosophy of the long-serving CEO plays a large part. One could argue that the seminal Toostie Roll commercial from the 70’s (I guess I’m dating myself) featuring a child asking “Mr. Owl” how many licks it takes to get to the center, was enough of a cultural influencer that it had a positive residual effect on the brand that’s lasted decades (http://www.tootsie.com/gal_commercial.php) . Perhaps it’s that the Tootsie Roll family of brands (Charleston Chew, Dots, Junior Mints, Blow Pops) play into the nostalgia that people “of a certain age” have for the simpler times of their childhood. Whatever the reasons, as marketers, it’s good to remember every now and then that brands aren’t just about advertising and the more we can do to uncover and support the essence of the brand, the more relevant and stronger our marketing efforts will be on their behalf.