The other day while grocery shopping, I turned a corner and found myself face-to-face with a huge, looming wall of red. Hearts, cupids, packaged candies of all kinds filled the entire shelf. Although it got my attention and reminded me of the upcoming holiday, I found myself kinda turned off by the timed commercialism of it all…
Then, this morning I read a Confectioner magazine’s article on Mars’ marketing strategy this V-Day. Not that it alleviates my disillusionment, but hey, it’s a cute (and smart) idea.
Apparently M&M has declared green the new color of Valentine’s Day.
Why green? I’m sure most people have at some time or another seen the animated M&Ms character commercials. The yellow peanut M&M is the kind-hearted, slightly slow guy, and the little red one is his sarcastic sidekick…
But then there’s Ms. Green. (You can tell she’s sexy and flirtatious by her shapely legs, white go-go boots, and well-groomed eyebrows. Oh yeah, and she’s the only spokes-candy with eyelashes).
And in honor of Ms. Green’s newly announced starring role in the supermarket this February, Mars has prepared a CUTE mock press release.
Apparently, Ms. Green was chosen to represent the love holiday not only because she is the only female character, but also because of a long-running legend associated with the color. Since the 1970s, there have been widespread unofficial claims that the green M&Ms are aphrodisiacs.
Not only is the decision to make green the color of Valentine’s Day original and as provocative as is possible for a company mass distributing mid-grade chocolate candies to a market with plenty of children…but it’s smart.
It’s smart because of the retailing principle it takes advantage of. (…”of which it takes advantage.” Sorry, I’m compulsive).
Can you imagine doing your grocery shopping, being confronted by that giant wall of red? Where will your eye be drawn? Straight to the block of green right in the middle of it all!
Plus, America has developed this love-hate relationship with Valentine’s Day in general. There is a whole counter-culture of Anti-Valentine’s Day participants who boycott its mushiness and sentimentality. Maybe this marketing move will appeal to those consumers disgusted by the spectacle of it all (but secretly wanting to get a little of that chocolate!)