To celebrate the 75th anniversary of M&M’s, Mars was launching a year of brand activity. The challenge they faced was determining how to launch a campaign to media and consumers in a way that would not only celebrate the iconic history, but also point the brand in a modern direction for the future.
With the rise of Instagram, Snapchat and shows like “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” the American public is obsessed with “behind the scenes,” intimate views into the lives of celebrities.
For instance, Beyoncé has 116M followers on Instagram, and Kim Kardashian has 114M. These celebrities have genuine impact on the way people live their lives, in terms of style, aspirations and brand choices.
If we could emulate this style of media exposure with the M&M’s spokescandies, who have been famous longer than today’s popular celebrities, (albeit in a tongue-in-cheek way), we could share a new side of their personalities and garner attention and pop relevance.
Additionally, understanding that brand relevance comes from the opinions of individuals with credibility, we knew the event we created should be targeted to mainstream pop culture media and social media influencers in order to propagate positive opinion and newsworthiness to our ultimate target: the consumer.
Pull the curtain back on the brand’s most iconic assets by giving people an exclusive look at how our beloved spokescandies live. For 75 years, people have been bringing M&M’s home, but for first time ever, M&M’s is bringing you into their homes.
We created a way to showcase history with a fresh, never-been-done-before idea completely centered around M&M’s most beloved asset: the spokescandies.
While spokescandies hold a special place in our target’s hearts, the bottom line is consumers want to eat them. However, each spokescandy has his or her own unique way of combating their predetermined fate, and because spokescandies are big pieces of chocolate walking around completely vulnerable to anyone who’s a chocolate lover, they have been pretty secretive over the years. They are only safe in one place that has never before been revealed: their own apartments. This is where their full personalities, and every memory made over 75 years are safe from the chocolate-loving public. Until now.
With the anniversary looming, they knew there would be more eyes on them than ever, so they left town (and their apartments open) for the very first time. This gave media and consumers an unprecedented chance for a peak behind the curtain. Access to these “celebrity” residences like never before.
We meticulously designed life-sized apartments for all six spokescandies right in the middle of NYC. Each apartment exemplified their unique personalities and seamlessly showcased history in a way that felt authentic. For example, Red’s was lavish and super-macho to combat his “plain M&M’s” reputation, while Orange’s was a “safe zone” to ease his paranoia about being eaten. From strategically placed items from the M&M’s museum, to each room décor selection and custom-designed coffee table book, no detail was overlooked to bring 75 years of history to life in the spokescandies’ natural environment. Then, we invited influencers and media in.
Each room featured interactive engagements designed for social sharing. Guests could play the piano in Red’s room, jump in the ball pit in Yellow’s pad, try on shoes in Ms. Green’s room, or even hide out in Orange’s panic room wearing one of his many disguises. Playful types could get in on a game of ping-pong under the neon lights in Blue’s bachelor pad and more studious attendees could sit at Ms. Brown’s desk and catch up on some reading from her extensive library.
From there we needed to ensure that anyone who could not make it to the super-secret apartments could have the same immersive experience, so our digital team at Genuine shot each room in full 360 video to create an exact replica of the apartments as a virtual reality app. Every detail was captured and brought to life virtually, allowing users to navigate the apartments and zoom in on each element that brought the spokescandies to life. This extension gave everyone access to this behind-the-scenes look at these timeless “celebrities” and the opportunity to take in every bit of delicious history. The technology turned a temporary installation into a campaign idea with longevity that can be experienced and remembered for years to come.