Creating a completely new advent experience with M&M’s pop-up calendar, Mars Wrigley took a different approach to global seasonal opportunities and it’s changed the way the business employs design as a strategic innovation tool.
For confectionery giants, seasonal events represent an opportunity to drive penetration, but at the mass-market end of the category competition is fierce, and price plays a big role. Mars Wrigley’s previous attempts to create more premium products in mainstream seasonal confectionery had not been successful, but a collaborative process between its brand innovation team and Path changed this.
Key strategic objectives were explored and achieved through a new, more collaborative, ‘prototyping to learn’ innovation process. Iterative development, with consumer input at every stage, led to a design solution which was a first in the market.
By building on consumer insight gained from the process, the traditional advent calendar experience was flipped on its head enhancing the consumer experience and adding value. The M&M’s calendar – an interactive, 3D pop-up story which builds throughout December – was a roaring success, demonstrating the potential for a more premium seasonal sector for the company’s mainstream brands.
With a rate of sale 36% higher than expected in France, the M&M’s calendar was also the third most searched keyword on Amazon.de in Germany, behind Sony’s new Playstation5. Such was the success, Mars Wrigley plans to deploy this design process for seasonal gifting in global markets across all confectionery brands.