MS. BROWN CHARACTER LAUNCH by BBDO New York for M&M's

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MS. BROWN CHARACTER LAUNCH

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Industry Candies
Media Print, Magazine & Newspaper
Market United States
Agency BBDO New York
Director Harry Cocciolo
Creative Director Kirk Kelley
Art Director Yvonne Cheng, Tim Bayne
Copywriter Matthew Zaifert, Christopher Kahle, Christopher Cann, Lauren Connolly, Peter Alsante
Editor Maury Loeb, Michael Corrigan
Released March 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Best New Product Launch/Re-Launch or Multi-Product Promotion at Retail
Advertiser: MARS CHOCOLATE NORTH AMERICA
Product/Service: M&M'S
Agency: BBDO NEW YORK
Chief Creative Officer: David Lubars (BBDO New York)
Senior Creative Director: Tim Bayne/Lauren Connolly (BBDO New York)
Art Director: Tim Bayne/Yvonne Cheng (BBDO New York)
Copywriter: Lauren Connolly/Matthew Zaifert/Peter Alsante/Christopher Kahle/Christopher Cann (BBDO New York)
Executive Producer: Lisa Petroni (BBDO New York)
Agency Producer: Whitney Collins (BBDO New York)
Production Company: (Bob Industries)
Director: Harry Cocciolo (Bob Industries)
Director Of Photography: Tim Hudson
Editing House: (P.S. 260)
Editor: Maury Loeb/Michael Corrigan (P.S. 260)
Visual Effects Company: (LAIKA/house)
Creative Director: Kirk Kelley (LAIKA/house)
Executive Producer: Lourri Hammack (LAIKA/house)
Senior Producer: Zilpha Yost (LAIKA/house)
Production Co-ordinator: Julie Ragland (LAIKA/house)
Technical Director/Rigger: Terence Jacobson (LAIKA/house)
Lighting/Texture Artist: Saira Mathew (LAIKA/house)
Animator: Greg Kyle/Wendy Fuller (LAIKA/house)
Sound Engineer/Mixer: Philip Loeb (Heard City)
Media placement: Digital: Online Teaser Banners - Specific Media Network - 17 January 2012
Media placement: Social: Facebook Like Gate, Tab, Postings, Apps, Live Events, Ms. Brown Twitter Page - Facebook.com/mms, Twitter.com/mmsbrown, Pandora.com/mmsbrown, Foursquare - 17 January 2012
Media placement: Print: Ms. Brown Teaser Print - People Magazine, TV Guide - 19 January 2012
Media placement: PR: Live Reveal Events - The Grove LA, M&M's World Times Square - 30 January 2012
Media placement: TV: Just My Shell - NBC Super Bowl - 5 February 2012
Media placement: Digital: Content Integration & Page Takeovers - Foxsports.com, Wonderwall.com, MSNlifestyle.com, Glo.com, Delish.com - 7 February 2012
Media placement: Social: Live Q/A - Facebook - 7 February 2012
Media placement: PR: Museum Of Chocolate Art (MOCA) - SoHo, NYC - 7 February 2012
Media placement: Print: Ms. Brown Launch Full Page, Spread And Advertorial - People, ESPN, TV Guide, In Touch, Dash - 10 February 2012
Media placement: Digital: Online Launch Banners - Specific Media Network - 19 March 2012

Describe the objective of the promotion.
M&M’s, the world’s largest chocolate brand, was experiencing an identity crisis. People didn’t think of M&M’s as chocolate. And it showed in the lagging sales of the flagship product, the milk-chocolate bag.

It was time to do things differently. We needed to put the chocolate back in Colorful Chocolate Fun.

But we couldn’t just tell people that M&M’s were chocolate. We had to let them experience M&M’s chocolate in a way they had never done before.

Describe how the promotion developed from concept to implementation.
We listened. Consumers associated the brown M&M’s most with chocolate. Also, everyone loved our M&M’s characters and every colour in the bag had a character except brown—prompting consumers to ask for a brown character.

We saw the opportunity to bring the level of bigness we needed to drive our chocolate message by leveraging our 2 biggest brand assets – the brown M&M’s and our characters—to create Ms. Brown.

We used a mix of social media, digital, print and TV to build a holistic picture of her personality and allow consumers to engage with the character both broadly and personally.

Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service.
While a product-centric message was critical to reinforce chocolate, we had to deliver on the affinity people have for our characters. We needed to create an link between the character and the chocolate to ensure success.

Brown’s story had to be told in a human way – through social media, editorialised print concepts, TV and integrations.

With each tweet, post, digital concept, print ad and TV ad, consumers learned a more about her and her story, not to mention her delicious 'chocolatey-ness'. After all, she was the original milk chocolate M&M, so chocolate was woven into every moment of her life.

Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results.
We got people talking.

Facebook and Twitter engagement was up over 350% within weeks of launch.

The spot has over 32m YouTube views. It scored in the top 5 of nearly every Super Bowl ad poll, was No.1 in YouTube’s Super Bowl ad blitz and was the most liked, most engaging and most talked-about spot of the night. The spot is still one of the top 20 most shared videos, globally.

And sales are through the roof. Sales are up 11% overall, more than twice the category growth, with milk chocolate sales alone up 7.9%.

Chocolate is back.