M&Ms marked its 75th anniversary with a sweet marketing campaign called Celebrate with M.  While the candy was first produced for military troops during World War II,  the brand saw this marketing campaign as an opportunity to target a younger demographic and breathe new life into the 75 year old brand.

Putting together the marketing stack to support such a multi-faceted campaign would reach across several categories and here’s an idea of what it might look like.

With each step, there was a concerted effort to gain publicity and provide supporting collateral tapping multiple tools in the Public Relations  and Marketing Resource Management categories.  Social Media was supported throughout and was centered around the hashtag #CelebrateWithM.  Useful tools include: Social Media Content Creation, Social Media Management, and Social Engagement.

The first big push started with a video featuring Zedd and Aloe Blacc performing an updated version of Sammy Davis Jr.’s song “The Candy Man.” The video was released as a commercial and as an online video. Tools in Video Content Management and Video Advertising would help in managing the finished video content and facilitating distribution.

Another facet of the campaign was the use of retro packaging, looking back at styles spanning from the 1940s up through the 1990s.  Digital Asset Management (DAM) tools could manage the multiple versions with different logos and color schemes.

The brand got consumers involved by asking them to vote on a new flavor of Peanut M&Ms, choosing between chili nut, coffee nut, and honey nut. The vote centered on in-store displays but also included social media and web engagement tools.  Managing this aspect of the campaign could tap tools like: Merchandising & Store Design; Coupon & Deal Software; Surveys: Online; and Call-to-Action (CTA) Tools.

A big component of the Celebrate with M campaign involved philanthropy and cross-marketing initiatives.  The brand continued its sponsorship of Red Nose Day by partnering with Comic Relief and announced a generous donation to Operation Gratitude, an organization that sends care packages to US troops around the world.  The brand partnered with Japanese lifestyle brand, Be@rBrick to produce accessories and apparel featuring the M&Ms logo.  As a longtime sponsor of NASCAR, the brand unveiled a new paint scheme for the racing car and also coordinated special events at the Daytona International Speedway in the  days leading up to the Daytona 500.  

Campaign results have proven to by quite tasty with M&Ms pointing to recent Nielsen data showing a substantial growth in sales for U.S. households in 2016.  M&Ms is a perfect example of how building a multi-faceted campaign using a varied marketing stack can lead to sweet results.

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