- Mars-owned M&M's is unveiling a Twitter-activated vending machine on Feb. 3 for Super Bowl attendees in Minneapolis to view the brand's special commercial and sample its candies, a press release announced. Several Metro train cars in the host city will be wrapped in M&M's branding ahead of the game.
- The candy brand has also released the 30-second commercial online before airing during the first quarter of the game on Sunday, per the release. In the spot created by BBDO New York, M&M's "spokescandies" Ms. Brown and Red walk through a busy city as Red expresses frustration that people keep trying to eat him. He finds a lucky penny and wishes he could be human. The wish is granted, and he turns into actor Danny DeVito sporting a red M&M's T-shirt, who goes around asking strangers, "Do you want to eat me?"
- M&M's last week released a 15-second teaser of its Super Bowl spot, featuring DeVito floating in a pool of melted chocolate. The videos imagery is a nod to the typical ending of the brand's commercials, where a single red candy rises to the surface of a pool of chocolate. The teaser will air once during the Super Bowl pre-game show on Feb. 4.
Interactive out-of-home experiences like M&M's Twitter-activated vending machine create memorable experiences that encourage photo-taking and easy social media sharing, potentially generating some significant buzz. In general, Twitter activated vending machines work by asking a consumer to send a tweet with a specific @ handle and # hashtag. Once this done, the machine dispenses a product. More brands are finding success with experiential marketing as a way to boost their earned social media content and directly engage with consumers in real life. Earlier this month, Ben & Jerry's hosted a similar pop-up carnival in Los Angeles to promote a new line of ice cream flavors.
After taking the past three years off, M&M's is charging full-force as a Super Bowl advertiser this year. The candy brand has launched a robust multichannel campaign to accompany its in-game ad buy as a way to connect with younger consumers through teasing the commercial online ahead of the big game.
M&M's released both a teaser and its full ad online ahead of the game, a potentially smart move for winning over younger consumers, though marketers faced criticisms last year for releasing their Super Bowl ads in full before airtime. This has lead many to take a more measured and secretive approach in 2018. While some people enjoy waiting to see full ads when they air during the game, 72% of consumers report that they head to Facebook to see clips of Super Bowl ads before the game, according to a study by Burson-Marsteller's Fan Experience group and WWP Group's PBS, released earlier this week.
Consumers appear to enjoy engaging with brands on social media. Among "constant social media users," 87% report being interested in the social media content that brands provide along with in-game commercials, the survey also found. M&M's also ran a contest earlier this month in conjunction with its Super Bowl efforts, asking people to share their best touchdown dances with M&M's candy on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using hashtag #MMSuperBowlLIIDanceContest. The addition of the contest could further drive social media engagement for M&M's ahead of the game, as touchdown dances are popular among NFL players, and that could translate to fans who share their own takes on the celebrations via social media.
M&M's casting for its ad is also making a direct play for millennials. Many brands feature celebrities in their Super Bowl ads as a way to appeal to a wider audience. M&M's is taking that a step further by featuring both a Hollywood actor and a YouTube personality Todrick Hall in its spot. Research has shown that millennials are generally more trusting of social media influencers than celebrities.