M&M’s Teases Fans, Won’t Air Commercial Before Super Bowl

Someone call Page Six: There will be a new M&M’s commercial during Super Bowl XLVII that will serve as the society debut of the brand’s new tagline, “Better with M”. Hmm…intriguing. So, what else do we know about the commercial?

Nothing, really–and that’s the beauty behind the “anticipation bubble” concept referenced by marketer Roy Benin in this Ad Age article. The big tease is a marketing strategy that your stoic nun-schooled grandmother would appreciate.

See, the public is addicted to instant gratification. We want breaking information yesterday, and we devour everything from politics to porn like a downstream alligator on an upstream antelope. Everything in our lives is there for the taking, and when can’t get what we want it, we want it even more.

(We don’t really like to pay for things either.)

In an age when the golden power of hype is leveraged to push existing content across multiple digital platforms, savvy marketers sometimes take the opposite approach in order to create a sense of exclusivity and anticipation. We tell kids that they can’t have chocolate before dinner, and now Mars is telling us we can’t have our M&M’s commercial before the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl commercials are almost as big as the game itself–particularly for members of the public who don’t like football as much as these guys.

Brands know we’ll all be watching, because the Super Bowl isn’t just a sporting event–it’s a cultural event. The coming weeks will be fraught with brands very deliberately leaking details about their upcoming commercials and trying to gain a foothold in the national dialogue about which brands are selling which products (and how).

The public will watch many of these commercials on YouTube before they even air. Chances are media-savvy viewers will have heard something about most of them before the game even begins.

But M&M’s makes us wait, giving us nothing but stubborn silence while our anticipation builds. It’s a brilliant strategy.