M&Ms Vote Scores Traffic Spike

NEW YORK — As surfers log on to cast their vote for the newest M&M’s candy color, traffic to the brand’s Web site continues to soar.

According to the latest report from Nielsen/NetRatings, the M&M’s Web site (http://www.mms.com) attracted 336,000 unique at-home visitors the week ending May 19. That represents a 145 percent jump in traffic from the the week prior, which recorded 137,000 unique surfers.

M&M’s parent Masterfoods is letting consumers vote online to determine the newest color to join the chocolate candy color mix [IQ Daily Briefing, Jan. 30]. The winning color will be announced in June.

Purple took the top spot the week ending May 19, as the voting page for that color captured 30 percent of the total visitors to the site, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. Aqua, meanwhile, attracted 19 percent of the site’s audience and pink drew nine percent. During the same time period, online ad impression for M&M’s rose 170 percent to 25.5 million, up from 9.4 million the week before.

The Web site, developed by Grey Interactive in New York, features special sections where users can put support behind their candy color of choice. Each section features desktop downloads, e-cards and printable buttons and flyers.

“M&M’s scores twice by including the consuming public on the choice for a new color and also in receiving a significant boost in brand exposure,” said Charles Buchwalter, vice president of media research at NetRatings, a subsidiary of Adweek parent VNU.

A marketing campaign, which includes advertising, public relations, direct marketing, retail promotions and sponsorships, is supporting the “Global Color Vote” effort. BBDO in New York handles the advertising. In 1995, a nationwide vote was cast in which 10 million American chose blue as the color to replace tan.