Mars Direct signs imc2 as AOR

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Mars Direct signs imc2 as AOR
Mars Direct signs imc2 as AOR

Signaling the growing importance of digital marketing for consumer products companies, Mars Direct Inc. has named digital marketing agency imc2 as its agency of record for all strategic planning, creative and media planning for Mars Direct, My M&M's and My Dove brands.

The four-month review process that preceded the appointment included a wide range of agencies, but in the end Mars Direct went with imc2 because it was looking for “one agency to understand the strength of digital and apply that across all customer touch points,” said Tracy Benson, VP of strategy at imc2.

The Mars Direct business has evolved over the past couple of years from a small offshoot of Mars Snackfood US that offers consumers the ability to personalize M&M's and the wrappers of Dove chocolates to the point where its ready to take the business to the next level, Benson said.

This year, Mars Direct “will take personalization to the next level,” she continued. Along these lines, the company recently announced a licensing agreement with Major League Baseball Properties for My Team M&M's featuring the team logos of any of the MLB clubs. Additional licensing deals are expected as well as additional personalization capabilities, which could include the ability to apply an image to an M&M or Dove wrapper. Currently, personalization capabilities include the ability to write a message or apply a logo.

To support these initiatives, imc2 will be working on updating current advertising across all channels without making a significant departure from previous work. Imc2 wants to give a bigger role to communicating the personalization aspect in future marketing efforts “and the fun that's associated with that,” Benson said. The goal will be to communicate that customers “have the ability to play, personalize and make the magical moments more meaningful through M&M's,” Benson said.

The target for Mars Direct brands is a heavily integrated user of online, print, TV and ancillaries like e-mail and search, she continued. Imc2 “will do a much better job of watching where she's at and shifting the marketing dollars to those spaces. This is naturally going to shift some of the spending to digital,” she said.

One of the agency's first priorities will be to enhance the customer experience across every touch point, including creating a better Web site experience through different product offerings and improved customer service.

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