After M&Ms’ three-year Super Bowl hiatus, parent company Mars seems to want its fans dancing about the brand’s return. The campaign offering: The M&Ms Super Bowl LII Dance Contest, which invites social media users to create and perform their own touchdown dance while holding packages of M&Ms candies.
Entries up to 15 seconds in length must be uploaded to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tagged with #MMSuperBowlLIIDanceContest to qualify. Dances will be judged based on entertainment value, humor and originality, with the first round of voting taking place on Thursday. After four rounds, the winner will receive a “Party Pack” consisting of a large football-shaped chest filled with M&Ms candy and other branded products worth $150.
M&Ms’ video promoting the contest has been viewed over 13,000 times across social media channels to date.
For football fans, the touchdown dance is a long-standing tradition performed by members of a team responsible for scoring a touchdown. By inviting young audiences to participate on social media, M&Ms is connecting with them on an emotional level and encouraging them to tune in to the Super Bowl February 4.
A 30-second M&Ms commercial will air during the first quarter of Super Bowl LII, although details have yet to be revealed. The press release implies a focus on the brand’s characters, each based on a different color or flavor of M&M candies.
The M&Ms brand currently has six such spokescandies, each with his or her own personality. In 2012, the brand created a Super Bowl commercial called “Just My Shell” to introduce Ms. Brown, an intelligent brown candy voiced by singer Vanessa Williams. When Ms. Brown arrives at a party, Red—the red M&M—mistakes her for being naked and responds by ripping off his candy shell to dance.
The following year, Red sang Meat Loaf’s “Anything For Love” while doing things for singer/acress Naya Rivera (Glee) like paint her nails—before revealing what he wouldn’t do, like get inside a piñata or allow himself to be eaten.
2014 was the last year M&Ms appeared at the Super Bowl, this time with a spot called “Delivery” in which Yellow is delivered to a dinner party—blissfully unaware that everyone wants to eat him.
Mars may have taken a three-year Super Bowl break with M&Ms, but its Super Bowl presence has remained consistent with its Snickers and Skittles brands. Last year, actor Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) hosted a live commercial for Snickers with a Western theme. M&Ms will replace Snickers on the Super Bowl commercial roster, as the candy bar will not be featured this year.
Priced at more than $5 million in 2018, Super Bowl commercials have gained a reputation for their emotional impact, whether that be through humor or tugging at the heartstrings. Other brands planning commercials for the big game include Hyundai, Avocados from Mexico, Budweiser, Bud Light, Coca-Cola, Doritos, Pringles and Stella Artois.