M&Ms have no doubt left an indelible mark in public consciousness, and whether you’ve a sweet tooth or not, it is hard to resist a handful of those classic peanut and plains.
So with the global awareness of the “melt-free” candy’s taste and look at their disposal, the folks at parent company Masterfoods enlisted two notable firms to help capitalize on the instant familiarity by encouraging consumers to “embrace their inner M.” For this latest multi-channel marketing effort, BBDO New York, along with Boston-based Barbarian Group, sought to illustrate how those who’ve found the M&M inside of them “embrace the fun in life.”
Kickstarted on January 16th with a TV spot aired during the American Idol season premiere, the “inner M” campaign will veer its way through print and other TV placements in an effort to drive people to the highly engaging destination, BecomeanMM.com. A joint creation between Barbarian and BBDO New York, the microsite is a fully-animated world dubbed “Planet M&M’ST”, in which the user can interact in various scenarios by first creating their own M&M character through what’s appropriately called “The Character Creator.”
“For so long, the M&M characters have been a part of our lives, and this was more or less (about) letting people into their world,” Tim Bayne, BBDO Creative Director, tells ADOTAS. “People absolutely love the characters and we’re just trying to reward them by letting them have fun by being in their world.”
By using the Character Creator, visitors are able to customize and design their own M&M characters with a slew of candy shapes, hair (from afro w/pick to Mohawk), facial features (including eyes and mouth) and accessories (glasses, hats and footwear) that can all be additionally altered through a whole spectrum of colors. “There are 27 million different combinations you can do, and if you just hit random like 15-20 times, some of the characters that come up are pretty funny,” Bayne adds.
Inspiration-wise, the Character Creator was born from internal BBDO New York powwows and a certain popular Comedy Central series. “South Park had this website where you could create yourself as this South Park character, but you really couldn’t,” Bayne reveals. “What we found is that a lot of people were having fun with this, but they were taking it into Photoshop and blowing it out even more because the options that this website offered weren’t enough to make it look like you or anything. But we just had so much fun with it, so we just thought let’s see if we could do this for M&M’s.”