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Creative Awards Case Studies The Drum Awards For Creativity

How M&Ms navigated a 'way-too-serious' discourse about candy shoes


By The Drum, Editorial

December 5, 2023 | 3 min read

M&Ms, Critical Mass and BBDO won the Consumer Goods category at The Drum Awards for Creativity. Here is the award-winning case study.

Check out the award-winning campaign here

In 2023 M&M’s had the most talked about Super Bowl campaign in our history, but the story starts over a year out from the big game, with a simple shoe change we didn’t expect to break the internet.

At M&M’S we believe in the power of fun to bring people together - but, after making some updates to our iconic characters, we found ourselves in the center of a divisive, at times way-too-serious dialogue over spokescandy footwear.

So we wanted to change the tone of that charged conversation, and bring the fun back into it, by starting an even more absurd one. Beginning with a controversial announcement that we were replacing our iconic spokescandies with Maya Rudolph - we got the world’s attention as Maya Rudolph transformed the brand further with her own increasingly outrageous changes, and the now jobless Spokescandies went to find new roles.

Culminating in a bizarre Super Bowl spot for Ma&Ya’s Candy Coated Clam Bites - we finally gave in to the public’s demands, and brought the spokescandies back by the end of the game.

Across a variety of mediums our Maya and Spokescandy storylines played out simultaneously. Via OLV, OOH, and even the M&M’s online store, the public kept up with the transformation of M&M’S into Ma&Ya’s while fans followed the characters new pursuits through social media and innovative brand partnerships. These plots then converged on TV in front of a Super Bowl audience.

Tapping into a charged cultural moment, and bringing our fans along for the ride - we leaned into the conversation around our brand, and used our Superbowl campaign to bring a divided America together, along a journey that helped us all laugh at ourselves, and agree on at least one thing: clams do NOT belong in candy.

Creative Awards Case Studies The Drum Awards For Creativity

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