- Mars brand M&M's is giving fans the chance to attend free concerts this summer using special packs of M&M's Caramel candies as all-access passes, a news release announced. The event series kicks off with Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Julia Michaels performing at an M&M's Spotlight concert at the Southside Music Hall in Dallas, Texas on July 25.
- Fans can follow M&M's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for details about how to attend the free concerts, possibly meet the artists and get VIP tickets by buying any size packs of M&M's Caramel candies. Other events include the chance to interact one-on-one with Major League Baseball and NASCAR athletes.
- M&M's launched a summer campaign around its caramel variant last month with a series of six- and 15-second video ads made by agency BBDO New York. They use a hidden camera style to capture an improv actor as he poses as an M&M's representative who interacts with real supermarket shoppers and tries to keep the caramel flavor on the shelves.
M&M's is attempting to drum up excitement for one of its newest flavors, M&M's Caramel, which launched last year with a heavy marketing push that included an AR-powered arcade experience in New York City's Times Square. By giving fans access to free concerts via specialized candy packs for the current push, the marketer could drive sales and attract newcomers interested in snagging tickets to see and potentially meet music artists.
The candy maker is extending the push digitally on social and is again embracing the extra short-form video format. M&M's adopted a similar strategy for its post-Super Bowl campaign this year, running six- and 15-second online pre-roll ads to extend a narrative starring the actor Danny DeVito. Short ads running six seconds or less continue to prove popular with brands, and can help net the attention of younger, more mobile-minded consumers like millennials and Gen Z.
Six-second ads on TV capture 8% to 11% more attention per second than more traditional spots, according to findings by the Advertising Research Foundation and TVision Insight published in June. Advertisers pairing short-form ads with longer-form content during the same program see a 10% lift in consumer attention, the groups found.
Branded pop-up concerts and events are also becoming popular among marketers looking to engage younger consumers, who are often seen as favoring experiences over products. In January, Ben & Jerry's hosted a pop-up street carnival in Los Angeles to promote a line of new ice cream flavors, for example.