M&M's Come Back from Black and White

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M&M's regain their color.
After fading to gray-scale earlier this year in a commercial inspired by The Wizard of Oz, M&M's are back with a colorful vengeance. In the first of five planned spots, the color returns to a roaring river of CG M&M's, courtesy of New York effects and design company Charlex and illustrator Nancy Stahl. The commercial and its coming sequels all end with the new tagline: "Chocolate is Better in Color."

What does this mean for M&M's longrunning animated characters? They'll be back this summer, according to BBDO/New York creative directors Susan Credle and Steve Rutter. In the meantime, the new campaign shows off another side of the brand. "I think M&M's is a big enough brand to have two tones," Credle says. "Some people still think of M&M's as a children's brand, and we thought doing something more abstract would be a way of bringing more people into the brand. Although it's very different from the character advertising, I think it's still light and fun."

Forthcoming spots will each focus on a different candy color, as interpreted by different artists in cooperation with Charlex. The campaign also has a musical theme, with each spot featuring a reinterpretation of the Petula Clark tune "Color My World." The debut spot, "River of Chocolate," actually comes with different soundtracks for different demos -- an ethereal electronic number for moms and a hip-hop mix for kids -- both created by New York's Big Foote Music.

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