NEW YORK: Mars Chocolate launched its new M&M Pretzel product on June 2 by integrating social media, traditional media relations, and an event featuring American Idol finalists in New York.
The campaign is all about "celebrating what's new inside M&Ms," said Ryan Bowling, director of communications for Mars Chocolate North America.
Mars used Facebook and several Twitter accounts to promote the new product, and did an SMT and RMT prior to the event, a concert with American Idol finalists including winner Lee DeWyze. It took place on a stage constructed inside a giant orange M&M, and was live-streamed on Facebook.
Media attending the launch event included The Wall Street Journal, Us Weekly, and Entertainment Tonight. In April, in preparation of the launch, Mars sent samples to food and beverage and general interest media, as well as influencers and celebrities. The team also attended the Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago in May.Mars worked with Weber Shandwick, AOR for M&Ms, on the campaign, and PR took the lead as the advertising campaign for M&Ms Pretzel doesn't launch until June 14.
"We're considering it to be one of the largest launches for M&Ms within Mars Chocolate in nearly a decade," Bowling said. "Our objective is pretty ambitious."
Mars will continue to promote M&Ms Pretzel at the American Idol Tour throughout the summer. It also will leverage its NASCAR driver, Kyle Busch, who will drive an M&M Pretzel-sponsored car in a total of four races. After that, the company will focus on general M&M promotion, with planned pushes around Halloween and leading into the holidays.