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Mars M&Ms drives Easter sales via mobile ad campaign

Candy giant Mars is running a mobile advertising campaign for its M&Ms brand to increase awareness and sales leading up to Easter.

The M&M mobile ads let users learn about how to incorporate M&Ms products into their Easter dessert recipes. The ad campaign involves mobile banner ads and sponsorship within the Today Show iPhone application.

?Easter is one of the biggest holidays during which candy is consumed,? said Simon Buckingham, CEO of Appitalism, New York.

?A lot of candy consumption is based on impulse purchases, so mobile ads are a great way to connect consumers who are out and about shopping with stores that are selling M&Ms candies,? he said.

Mr. Buckingham is not affiliated with M&Ms. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

M&Ms did not respond to press inquiries.

M&Ms is a product of Mars Chocolate, which also includes the Dove, Snickers, Milky Way, Galaxy and Twix brands.

Mobile bait
The mobile banner ad reads, ?Make every basket complete. M&Ms chocolates for Easter.?

When users tap on the ad, they are taken to a mobile microsite that features the brand?s famous red and yellow candy characters.

The mobile site encourages users to tap to view four Easter-themed recipes.

Each recipe shows users a picture of the finished product, the ingredients, prep time and how many servings a recipe makes.

The microsite then walks users through a step-by-step process of how to make the treats.

Running a mobile ad campaign around a specific holiday is a great way for a company such as M&Ms to brand itself. Easter is one of the times of the year with highest candy sales and educating consumers about its products leading up to the holiday is a smart move from the company.

Virtual sweet spot
In addition to the Easter-themed mobile ads, Mars has been doing a lot to increase its mobile advertising efforts.

For example, the company?s Dove line of chocolates ran a similar mobile campaign for Valentine?s Day that gave users examples of how to use its products (see story).

M&Ms also recently used a mobile ad campaign that built up to its Super Bowl advertising (see story).

Not only is chocolate one of the biggest purchases around Easter, it is also an impulse buy and showing users new ways to use the products gives them a reason to buy.

To make the campaign more interactive, the company could have included a store locator to drive users to nearby locations where they can buy the products. Additionally, the ad could have connected to M&M?s Facebook or Twitter pages.

?I think the smallest screen ? that of the smartphone ? will become the largest screen in terms of ad spend for consumer packaged goods companies,? Mr. Buckingham said.

?Mobile ads act as virtual end cap displays and virtual weekly promotional circulars to drive impulse buys of their products,? he said.

?Consumer goods do not need to be explained so mobile ads are the perfect reminder to purchase those products.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York