- Mars Wrigley is once again sponsoring a group of short movies inspired by a festive occasion, and this time distributing them on social media to reach younger viewers. The "Bite Size Holiday" series for the candy maker's M&M's brand consists of four holiday-themed shorts produced by Disney's advertising sales group and 20th Digital Studio unit, per an announcement emailed ot Marketing Dive.
- The companies enlisted a group of newcomer directors to make the four movies, which can be found on the Facebook and Twitter channels for Disney's network brands. ABC's social channels are showing "Science Fair Santa" and "Come In," while Freeform's "25 Days of Christmas" channels feature "Santa Won't Leave" and "Swapsies."
- The "Bite Size Holiday" series to promote M&M's is another sign of how brands are trying to cut through ad clutter and reach younger audiences. Mars Wrigley implemented a similar strategy with a Halloween-themed film series in the past three years.
Mars Wrigley's group of holiday-themed short movies for its M&M's brand are part of the candy maker's ongoing efforts to provide original entertainment that is more engaging for viewers. Their shorter length makes them easy to view on a wider variety of devices, including smartphones that provide all-day entertainment for younger viewers whom the company seeks to reach during the holiday season. The "Bite Size Holiday" series comes in advance of M&M's planned return as a sponsor of the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.
Mars Wrigley in 2017 first adopted the strategy of sponsoring short films in a collaboration with Fox — whose parent company subsequently was acquired by Disney — on the "Bite Size Horror" series for its Skittles, M&M's and Starburst brands, Adweek reported. Since then, Mars Wrigley has returned each Halloween with more short horror films, including the renamed "Bite Size Halloween" series that aired on Disney's Freeform and FX channels, and on its Hulu streaming service in October. Disney said the "Bite Size Horror" series for Halloween had the highest ad retention of any advertiser in October 2017, and gained widespread attention as people discussed the movies on social media. The series won "Best of the Best" in Short-Form Fiction by the 2018 Brand Film Festival, affirming that the effort to develop original content was a winning strategy.
By extending the series to the winter holidays, Mars Wrigley aims to connect with consumers as they boost their candy purchases, especially as the pandemic lifts demand for comfort foods and treats. Almost all (91%) of U.S. consumers said they celebrate the holidays with chocolate and candy, while 80% will buy as much or more chocolate and candy than normal this year, a survey by the National Confectioners Association found.
Mars Wrigley is among the marketers that are sponsoring original content to engage viewers with their branding as more viewers watch ad-free streaming services like Netflix and Disney+. Pepsi this week announced another collaboration with Fox Entertainment, this time to produce a game show inspired by one of the soda maker's products. "Cherries Wild" will feature a branded integration with Pepsi Wild Cherry cola and premiere on Fox in February. Meanwhile, Hyundai's luxury vehicle brand Genesis and Amazon recently collaborated with digital video network Tastemade on a five-part series called "Origins" that integrates their branding with cooking instructionals from a group of chefs.