The characters Red, Green, Yellow, Blue and Orange, are widely known in the US and each have distinct personalities that Mars utilises in its brand marketing.
Mars hopes to emulate this to build up recognition in the UK.
Speaking to Marketing Week following the launch of the M&M’s “retailtainment” store in Leicester Square on 7 July, Alex Brittain, marketing director for all Mars Bitesize brands, says that the M&M’s characters and the £10m investment into the London store are key components of the brand’s UK strategy.
“We’re using the characters to deliver core growth for the brand. They provide a fantastic platform to generate really great content, which we can take into experiential, TV and digital channels,” he says.
Mars says M&M’s is the largest confectionery brand in the world with a value of $2.75bn worldwide. In the UK, M&M’s is worth £50m and has only just entered into the Top 10 confectionery brands.
The brand has enjoyed four consecutive years of double digit growth in the UK and hopes that its London destination store, which is its first outside the US and its biggest ever, will accelerate growth.
M&M’s is currently reporting 12% annual growth, outperforming the confectionery market, which is reporting 5.9% growth.
It is also investing £6m in TV advertising.