On a + note

Find Red. #12: 2013

Posted in on a + note by flickfancy on March 25, 2013

The Mars Company began producing M&M’s in 1941 for the troops. In 1954, it introduced peanut M&M’s and launched the now-iconic slogan of “melts in your mouth, not in your hands.” The M&M’s characters were debuted in television commerce the same year.

By 1960, there were four colours of M&M’s: the classic brown, plus yellow, green, and red. Mars created a marketing campaign to add a new color in 1995, in which people could vote on their favorite shade. Blue was the winner. Green was animated in 1997 as the first female character. In 1999, Orange joined the group, and Purple was the popular addition. Custom M&M’s colours were introduced in 1996. However, Red and Yellow continue to be the most popular characters and appear in many commercials together, including last year’s holiday classic in which the pair encounters Santa as he delivers presents. Mars Company continues to push marketing boundaries with its introduction of an online game allowing participants to create their own M&M’s characters using different eyes, hairstyles, and accessories

The story behind the award-winning M&M’s “Find Red” marketing campaign is an interesting example of how digital advertising is evolving and how the smart use of social media effectively engages a broader sphere of customers. Have a look…

The campaign fed participants a series of hints on the M&M’s website, Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare, as well as links to street posters to keep participants engaged with the product and looking for those elusive red M&M’s.

The campaign was addictive and extremely effective. Participants spent more than four times the industry average on the M&M’s website (19 minutes); more than 7.1 million QR codes were viewed. The campaign aggregated an amazing 8.4 million media impressions. Red won numerous marketing awards, including a Bronze Lion at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France and the 2012 Canadian Digital Marketing Award.

It was a HUGE success. Surely, libraryland can dream up a few digital treasure hunts to push our products, engage our customers, and improve our media impressions.

Kitty Pope                                                                                           #12 March 2013



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