The Perfect Mix For M&Ms

The Perfect Mix For M&Ms


Fifteen seconds isn’t a big canvas for advertisers to work on, so it helps if you have strong and memorable brand assets to do the work for you. And they don’t come much stronger than the animated M&Ms characters, which have been a Fluent Device for the Mars brand since 1995.

The latest work by BBDO using the M&Ms “spokescandies” underlines this point. In those handful of seconds “Freaking Out” introduces a new product, explains it and dramatises it in a way that makes the audience smile.

Now, let’s be honest, this isn’t the most difficult new product to explain. M&Ms Mix does exactly what you’d think it would – it’s a bag mixing different kinds of M&Ms candy. (Three types per bag, in various combinations). M&Ms could have got pretty high Brand Fluency scores just by showing the bag with a voiceover telling you what’s in it.

But that no-nonsense approach surely wouldn’t have hit many emotional highs. The candy category is the most competitive in our whole Test Your Ad database, with an average Star Rating of 3.8-Stars – people like candy, duh. So it’s harder to stand out, and confectionery brands really need to be pushing for 4- and 5-Star results to leave an impression.

That’s where the Fluent Device comes in. The animated candies cue the brand immediately, and bring the idea to life by having the different M&Ms stuck in a Mix bag. Like all the M&Ms ads, it’s goofy but it raises a smile and turns a standard product launch ads into something a lot more entertaining. “Freaking Out” ends up with a very strong 4.9-Star rating and an exceptional short-term Spike score – yet more proof of how well brand characters work.

Creative agency credit: BBDO