- Mars Wrigley is reviving its candy-themed Valentine's Day pop-up in New York City with a new partnership with social networking platform Bumble, the company announced in a press release.
- This year, the Sweet ReTREAT promotion includes dishing out candy and several activations tied to Mars brands, such as a Starburst nail service and Dove Chocolate "All About You Profile ReFresh," in which Bumble staff will give guests advice on photos and descriptions in their profiles of the women-first dating app. A lounge will host mentorship exercises around personal branding, first impressions and networking from guests including former "Bachelorette" star Andi Dorfman.
- Visitors can get a free ticket on Eventbrite by sharing their name, email address and zip code. Mars will hand out fun-sized versions of M&Ms, Twix, Skittles and Altoids, among other products to guests at the pop-up on Feb. 12 and 13.
Candy is a popular gift around Valentine's Day, and Mars is hoping to reach sweet-toothed consumers ahead of the holiday with a modern activation for women celebrating the holiday with their friends. The partnership with Bumble further cements the idea of a non-traditional Valentine's Day, where people can share the holiday with friends and family as well as romantic partners.
The brand cited research it conducted with Nielsen last year revealing that Valentine's Day celebrations are evolving into social occasions for friends, not just for lovers. The data identified a 63% spike in Galentine's Day celebrations since 2016. Millennials are leading the pack on these more modern celebrations, passing the holiday with everyone from romantic partners to friends and close business associates. Additionally, the data revealed that 88% of U.S. consumers want to connect with new people — something guests can do at the branded pop-up.
Offering an experience in New York City tackles these emerging trends by providing friends with social activities such as getting a manicure or writing words of inspiration on the Starburst-inspired pink wall. People looking to spend the holiday with friends have a free event to attend, those looking for love will get free dating profile advice and those looking to connect with new people have an opportunity at this social gathering, which may also deepen engagement with Mars and remind consumers of the confectioner's candy brands.
Several brands are leveraging Valentine's Day to host interactive activations that go beyond romantic love. Burger King teamed up with Warner Bros. Pictures to create a non-traditional Valentine's Day campaign around the new "Birds of Prey" film. Customers can bring printed photos of an ex to Burger King and put them into a "Birds of Prey"-themed box in exchange for a free Whopper.