- Mars candy brand M&M's is leveraging its Oscars sponsorship to promote a new line of message-themed packaging, as well as a limited-edition party pack themed for viewing parties of the annual awards show, the company revealed in a press release. M&M's is supporting the effort with a campaign that includes in-store, digital and social promotions. New ads will debut during the awards ceremony, with additional customized videos on YouTube that tailor the new messages to specific audiences after the show.
- The "Let M Say it for You" line of packaging encourages fans to share M&M's for special moments such as the Oscars. The 36 different packages include messages such as, "You make mama proud," "Congrats on that thing you did" and "I love being socially awkward with you." These limited-edition packages will roll out in stores on Jan. 20.
- To promote the special packaging, the Mars-owned candy brand created a "red carpet edition" box that features a mini rollout carpet when the box is opened, several packs of M&Ms and a place for customers to write their "message of the night." Ninety-two boxes are available on the brand's e-commerce site to coincide with the Oscars' 92nd airing.
M&M's is using the audience of Oscar night to promote its new packaging with the goal of extending the campaign on social after the awards show wraps up on Feb. 9. It also hopes to drive traffic to its e-commerce site with a special limited-edition product. The awards show is taking place several weeks earlier than usual this year and hopes to build on its momentum from last year, which ratings increased following a period of declining viewership.
By creating packaging with quirky messages of congratulations, M&M's is tapping the celebratory nature of the awards event. This strategy could position consumers to associate the brand with their own celebrations and drum up buzz about M&M's online. The new line of special packaging could be used as a kind of greeting card exchanged among friends and family members, as their unique messages may appeal to candy fans looking for positive and inspiring messages.
Around this time last year, the Mars-owned chocolatier ran a Super Bowl ad starring actor Danny DeVito in a red M&M's shirt floating in a pool of chocolate but, there has been no word from the brand so far this year about its plans for the Super Bowl. The brand previewed last year's spot for film critics, who shared their reactions during the Critics' Choice Awards Red Carpet Show, thus drumming up additional buzz around the spot. M&M's also ran a social media contest before the big game to directly engage candy fans.
Last year's Super Bowl ad ran around the time Mars CEO Grant Reid told Bloomberg the company's goal was to double revenue from $35 billion to $70 billion, an ambitious endeavor for any company. Recent research suggests that advertisers see benefits of running Super Bowl ads beyond game day, and many marketers have extended the expensive media buys via large-scale events or sweepstakes to continue conversations around a brand.