HACKETTSTOWN, NJ: Mars Chocolate North America's M&M's brand has launched an integrated marketing campaign with its biggest yet PR component.
The “Better with M” initiative showcases the brand to consumers as a product that can make any time more fun.
While the creative elements of the campaign kicked off earlier this week, PR aspects will begin the week before Super Bowl XLVII, which will take place February 3, said Lauren Nodzak, PR manager for Mars Chocolate North America.
On the Thursday before the big game, Mars will hold a “Better with M” event in New Orleans, she added. The event will include food by celebrity chef John Besh and a live performance by singer and actress Vanessa Williams, who is the voice of the “Ms. Brown” M&M character. Members of the media, celebrities, and athletes will attend the event.
In addition to the pre-game event, M&M is incorporating a cause-related effort into the campaign called “M-Prove America.” All proceeds from the event will go to the New Orleans chapter of Habitat for Humanity, and a day later, the brand will launch a program to support the organization, which helps to provide housing for the needy.
“It's about encouraging our consumers and fans of the M&M's brand to get together with us and volunteer at Habitat job sites throughout the country to improve America,” added Nodzak.
To raise awareness of the cause efforts and the overall brand campaign, Mars is reaching out to consumer media and bloggers with the help of AOR Weber Shandwick, as well as engaging fans on Facebook and Twitter. Nodzak said the “brain trust of Weber” has helped the company with the concept of the initiative and the communications elements behind it.
She said “Better with M” is M&M's largest integrated marketing and PR initiative in terms of budget and effort. Nodzak declined to specify the budget.
She added that PR can also help to bring the M&M characters to life through media tours and social media engagement, adding that Mars' goal is “building and protecting the integrity” of its brands, such as Snickers, Twix, and Three Musketeers.
Other agencies working on the campaign include BBDO New York for advertising; Digitas for digital; Starcom for media buying; LatinWorks for Hispanic advertising; Thomas J. Paul for consumer promotions; Tapestry for Hispanic media buying; Catapult for shopper marketing; and Davie Brown for entertainment marketing.