The much anticipated M&M’s Super Bowl ad, meant to clarify the status of the brand’s “spokescandies,” which were suspended following criticism from right-wing pundits, eventually aired on Sunday, and it was, well, confused.
In it, Maya Rudolph, an actress and comedian, throw handfuls of vibrant candies into the air, but instead of Ms, they have the letters “Ma” and “Ya” along with pictures of Rudolph’s face.
Rudolph sings that there are now clams inside the candies. People in the video take nibbles and display distaste. A distressed-looking Yellow M&M and a Red M&M holding a sign that reads “HELP!” may be seen at the end of the video.
After the Green M&M characters’ switch from heels to sneakers last year, and again after a January International Women’s Day campaign featuring female candies prompted cries of “woke!” from right-wing commentators, the brightly colored anthropomorphized M&M characters had become topics of conversation and criticism from some Green M&M fans.
Some viewers were perplexed by the Super Bowl ad, which was supposed to end the drama surrounding the whereabouts of the “spokescandies” after weeks of speculation.
The spokecandies are back, and the company informs the public in a news release. The characters express their happiness at returning in a commercial that will show on Sunday. “Back together again: M&M’s characters return,” reads the chyron.
Those closely following M&M’s marketing approach may have recognized the narrative flow: M&M’s unveiled Rudolph as its new spokesperson before the ad aired. Rudolph demonstrated modifications she had made in her new capacity through films, such as changing “M&M’s” to “Ma&Ya’s” and placing her face on the candy.
Additionally, M&M’s provided updates on the unemployed characters, some of which were depressing: Orange, for instance, created a Spotify meditation album, Yellow attempted to portray Snickers, and so on.
However, if you weren’t paying attention, the final advertisement can leave you scratching your head. This is one of the risks a brand takes when it runs a weeks-long campaign before its Super Bowl ad.
Elaborate and Strategies
The M&M brand may have had one of the most complex lead-up campaigns, but it is not the only one. The use of social media to tease, preview, and generate hype before Super Bowl advertisements has become a standard tactic, in contrast to the decades-old Super Bowl ad wars.
Before investing in the actual advertisements, businesses spend millions merely for a Super Bowl ad slot — reportedly over $7 million for some 30-second spots.
By directing more people to the commercial, online campaigns, sometimes supported by glitzy multi-page print ads like M&M’s, are a strategy to maximize your advertising budget.
Ad previews also allow businesses to adjust before the big game if they receive unfavorable feedback. But since so many companies use this strategy, it is harder to stand out and surprise the audience.
Dance Competitions And Gambling
Companies are keen to get a place despite the expensive Super Bowl ad. That’s because many viewers (208 million last year) only watch the advertisements when the game is on.
Karen North, professor of digital social media at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, says, “Anything you run during the Super Bowl will immediately get some attention as if it were a scheduled event or entertainment.” “How do you draw attention to yourself specifically?”
Some companies, like M&M’s, developed a complex plots for their characters. Others teased which stars would appear in their ads or gave previews.
The winner of a TikTok dance contest hosted by Doritos, which was made into a campaign, will be featured in an advertisement that will air on Sunday.
The stakes for viewers were raised when Molson Coors teamed up with DraftKings to allow fans to wager on what would be in its advertisement before the game.
This year, Planters broadcast snippets of a roast of Mr. Peanut before the game. Mr. Peanut is famous for famously “dying” in a Super Bowl commercial in 2020 before being reincarnated as a baby.
According to Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, the campaigns get people to watch and relieve some of the strain off the advertisement itself.
“The Super Bowl is a very cluttered time,” he said. People get invested in the game, leave the room, scroll through their phones, and chat with friends. They may turn the TV off before some ads even air.
By hedging with an online campaign designed to get people thinking about the brand, “you go into [the Super Bowl] with a much lower risk profile,” Calkins said.
Companies can monitor public opinion by releasing advertisements in advance. Negative feedback allows for change. For instance, GoDaddy was able to alter a 2015 advertisement portraying a dog being sold online after being protested by animal rights advocates and others.
For almost 4 years, Jason Martin has been a freelance writer for newspapers, journals, blogs, books, and online material. He covers the most recent news as well as many other topics.