Mars Wrigley will return to the Super Bowl with a 2021 ad buy
Mars Wrigley, a longtime Super Bowl advertiser, plans to return with a spot in the 2021 game but is not ready to reveal which of its candy brands will get a turn in the spotlight. This makes it the first marketer to confirm it will run an ad in the Big Game next year.
"The biggest moments deserve the biggest brands and since the Super Bowl is one of America’s most iconic and beloved sports moments, it makes sense that Mars Wrigley would secure a spot to share our iconic and beloved brands such as M&M’s, Snickers and Skittles,” Mars Wrigley said in a statement to Ad Age.
Mars Wrigley is preparing for the Feb. 7 Super Bowl as uncertainty surrounds the biggest NFL game of the year and the biggest stage for blockbuster ads. Live sports in general have become uncertain during the coronavirus pandemic. The NFL did away with its preseason games, and its new season, set to begin on Sept. 10, will feature games with few-to-no fans in attendance. Societal issues are also pressuring play. On Aug. 26, multiple NBA Playoffs games were postponed after Milwaukee Bucks players boycotted their own game in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin on Aug. 23.
Mars Wrigley has featured Snickers, M&M’s and Skittles during the Super Bowl in recent years, though Snickers was the marketer’s sole brand in the 2020 Super Bowl. Its extended cut and in-game ad featured a group of people singing about the world being out of sorts and a giant Snickers being lowered into a massive hole in the ground in the brand’s attempt to fix the world. Yes, that’s right, Snickers was trying to solve global issues back in early February, back when issues to joke about included grown men riding scooters, people naming their children after produce, or the government spying on a man through his smart speaker, as portrayed in the 30-second version of the spot. Snickers worked with BBDO New York and AMV BBDO on its “Snickers Fixes the World” campaign.
A lot has changed since then including candy sales, which are under pressure now that fewer people stop in at shops such as convenience stores and airport newsstands since they aren’t heading out as much during the pandemic. Plus, it’s a lot easier to skip a candy bar purchase when ordering groceries online. Even when people do shop in person at the grocery store, one shopper is now expected to stand six feet behind the person checking out, making it more challenging for Mars Wrigley, Hershey Co,. and other competitors to catch people’s eyes for impulse buys.
Ahead of the Super Bowl, Mars Wrigley is eager to make Halloween happen even if COVID-19 sticks around. Its new app-based Treat Town tool will allow people to trick-or-treat virtually in October by knocking on friends and family’s in-app doors, collecting credits toward actual Mars Wrigley candy.
"While we’re not ready to reveal which brand will be featured, we’re reinventing cultural moments for our times," Mars Wrigley stated, giving the example of the launch of Treat Town.