Friday, May 23, 2008

Personal M&M's

M&M chocolates are about to get seriously personal.

In an attempt to cash in on consumers’ desires for personalised products, Mars Snackfood will launch a new website next month called M&M’s faces. Consumers will be able to log on the official website, upload a photo and order unique batches of M&M’s with the uploaded photo as well as a personal message printed on the candy shell. To mark the launch of the initiative, TV, print and digital media will be utilised to ensure awareness.

The idea of printing personalised messages on M&M's started as a small R&D project in 2004. A senior executive who had confidence in the project then urged the company to test whether the printed product would sell online. After an initially slow six months, when the company sold about eight bags of personalized candy a week, orders eventually grew to a point where the company decided to add more manufacturing capacity dedicated to making M&M's for the personalised candy business.

Mars has a heritage of allowing consumers to define M&M's. In a 1995 promotion, consumers voted blue to be the next M&M colour. Last year, Mars launched the My Inner M&M effort that directed consumers to create their own animated M&M's character on