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Mars Chocolate spreads holiday cheer via mobile advertising

Mars Chocolate is placing its M&M and Dove brands at the center of a new holiday mobile advertising campaign that shows users how to incorporate the products into seasonal recipes.

The Mars Chocolate ads are running inside the Today Show iPhone application. Mars has consistently relied on mobile advertising for seasonal campaigns in the past.

"As long as CPGs like Mars are utilizing mobile the right way to drive consumer engagement there is a very huge win in mobile this holiday season," said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis, Atlanta.

"With the number of mobile devices and tablets on the market this holiday season, CPGs need to be in the game of mobile in order to keep up with their consumers," she said. "Additionally with readers accessing the mobile Internet there is another large wave of mobile access that cannot be avoided."

Ms. Troutman is not affiliated with Mars. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.

Mars Chocolate did not respond to press inquiries.

Mobile sweet spot
Mars Chocolate is running Dove and M&Ms banner ads for its holiday products.

Both ads expand when clicked on to include a landing page with branded information.

Via the landing pages, consumers can watch a 15-second commercial or find recipes that include the chocolate as part of a holiday treat.

Users can then read step-by-step recipe directions to create themed desserts such as cookies or chocolate-covered pretzels.

From the landing page, users can choose to save the recipe to create a shopping list. This leads consumers to a campaign-specific mobile site that can be bbookmarked as their homepage.

Using a mobile campaign such as this one is a smart way for the company to put some context around its products by showing how consumers can use products for seasonal recipes. 

Recipe past
Mars Chocolate has run similar campaigns to this one within the Today Show app in the past.

For example, the company utilized mobile advertising in April for an Easter campaign that encouraged consumers to create their own desserts with M&Ms (see story).

Similarly, Dove used in-app advertising around Valentine?s Day (see story). 

However, the main difference between the previous campaigns and this one is how mobile Web is used.

The main part of the ad is kept inside the Today Show app. If consumers are further interested in the campaign, they can then click through to go to a mobile site.

With consumers increasingly using their mobile devices as shopping companions, Mars Chocolate is smart to capitalize on in-app advertising. In particular, the Today Show app makes sense to target a demographic that might be looking for quick tips and ideas while inside a grocery store.

"Overall, I think the ad is well-executed for the holiday season ensuring a holiday shopping list is available to be saved for quick look up by the consumer when shopping to create the recipe ? adding in branded items for the best results," Ms. Troutman said.

"A great addition would be a coupon for the products when purchased in-store via a mobile landing page to scan or enter a coupon code at check-out," she said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York