Cannes Lions

Celebrate with M

MEDIACOM, New York / MARS / 2017

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Case Film






Millennials may look jaded, but they use their phones to escape and have fun. Memes, cat videos and laughing babies spread like wildfire, and celebrations like birthdays seem to go on forever as a counterbalance to a world that can be hard and scary.

Such “enjoyable escapism” is uniquely useful to M&M’S, a brand that has stood for Spontaneous Fun for decades. Brought to life by the category’s only anthropomorphic characters, the candy literally “has fun” with its fans, as if it were itself a friend.

Our idea was to build a campaign centered on a famous brand asset, the song “The Candyman” (90% of A18-34 share music online with family and friends). We would embrace our target in a warm and happy hug: one that would give them plenty of options to share content, have fun and buy M&M’S.


TEASE: We kicked off with song teasers on The Grammys, a TV teaser ad and behind-the-scenes videos in social.

LAUNCH: Then we debuted a :60 of “Candyman” on The Voice, and released the full song with iHeartRadio, whose radio personalities played it in rotation. :15 and :30 versions of the music video ran on TV, while :90s played in OLV.

SUSTAIN: Videos were released showing A18-34 influencers creating their own remixes, and fans shared their own via an easy-to-use mobile app.

Celebrate with M activations:

Cinema and outdoor helped surround the consumer, as did specific print ads tied to pop culture events. We also collaborated with Marvel to re-create collectible versions of iconic comic book covers and related retail postering.

Finally, retailers sold M&M’S in retro packaging inspired by the 1940s-1990s, and – as new flavors drive Millennial trial – we invited consumers to vote on their favorite.


Among iHeartRadio listeners, unaided awareness of the song remake was 79% higher than control, 33% were more likely to have watched the “Candyman” video and 30% were more likely to think that the remake of the song showed that “M&M’S knows what’s new/cool in pop culture,” proving that radio helped us portray the iconic brand as relevant to our target audience.

Overall, “Candyman” hit #4 on iTunes Top Dance Songs chart, #14 on Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic chart and #40 on iTunes Dance Singles chart. The song’s music video garnered 40 million plays and 2 billion impressions.

Most importantly – as the anchor to our overall “Celebrate with M” 75th birthday plan, “Candyman” was instrumental (pardon the pun) in helping us outperform among A18-34 for the first time in five years and successfully achieve our goal of making M&M’S the #1 chocolate candy in the United States (non-seasonal).

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