HERSHEY, MARS TOUT SMALL CANDY IN ADS: INTRO OF NUGGETS LINE EXTENSIONS INCLUDES MCD'S TIE

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Miniature-size candies will be receiving some maximum ad exposure beginning in late summer.

Hershey Chocolate USA will introduce nationally line extensions to two brands, and M&M/Mars will launch a cross-branding ad campaign for all its miniature candy bars.

The Hershey introductions will include a tie-in with McDonald's Corp., which will distribute samples of the candies on 25.5 million trays and promote them via 12,000 in-store posters.

MARS EFFORT BY BBDO

The Mars cross-branding campaign will be created by M&M's agency BBDO Worldwide, New York, even though it spans all Mars' miniature brands, including Milky Way, handled by D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, St. Louis.

The efforts from the candy rivals could rack up $25 million or more in advertising by the end of the year.

Hershey is expected to spend at least $10 million to launch Reese's Crunchy Cookie Cups Miniatures, beginning in September, the third Reese's extension in about a year. The marketer came out with Reese's Crunchy Cookie Cups in January 1997, followed by Reesticks this February.

Ogilvy & Mather, New York, handles the Reese's line.

Hershey's second introduction will tie in with McDonald's, a co-promotion involving two new flavor extensions of the Hershey's Nuggets line -- Creamy Milk Chocolate With Toffee Almonds and Dark Chocolate With Almonds.

`AMERICA'S NEWEST FAVORITES'

Marketing plans call for national TV, including a 30-second spot to run 100 times from Aug. 31 through Sept. 12, also from O&M. The tagline under consideration: "America's newest favorites."

A free-standing newspaper insert will run Sept. 13 and promote McDonald's charity, Ronald McDonald House.

Hershey spent $8.3 million in measured media on Nuggets last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

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