How well do consumers remember M&M’s ads? “When we started out, I thought, ‘What if we ask people and they have no idea? This is going to be a bust,’ ” says BBDO creative director Susan Credle, co-copywriter on an eight-spot campaign currently on air in which people re-enact their favorite M&M spots. Creatives from the New York shop and M&M brand managers spent a week in August traveling by bus from Madison, Wis., to Jackson, Miss., with director Frank Samuel and a team from Harvest Films. They found more than 200 people happy to act out their favorite M&M commercials with puppets supplied by creatives. The most remembered spot was the one that has run each Christmas for seven years: Santa and the M&M characters all faint when they see each other. Among M&M fans picked for the campaign—alongside one person supplied by a casting agency—are Jackson teens who re-enact the cinema spot in which an M&M knocks an obnoxious moviegoer from his chair and an Oxford, Miss., man who acts out the ad in which a peanut M&M is pushed into a pool. There were no scripts, and participants had to remember the ads on their own. “They would get so frustrated,” Credle says. “And we would be like, ‘It’s OK if you don’t remember every line!’ ” Spots direct viewers to M&M’s Web site, where they can vote for their own favorites.
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