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Mars does not seek to be loved

News, 02 July 2015

GLASGOW/LONDON: Mars, the international food and drinks business, does not believe that its marketing strategy should be driven by a need for consumers to "love" the brand, the company's global CMO has said.

Instead, Mars seeks to engage consumers by taking a more realistic approach to the relationships people develop with brands and with each other.

Speaking to The Drum, Bruce McColl drew parallels with people's normal social and family lives when there often is not the time to make real connections.

If that is the case with personal relationships, then it should apply even more for brands, which therefore should accept the situation and focus on how that particular insight can support strategy and creative.

"For most people out there buying our brands they don't love us; we just have to accept that," he said. "It goes against some of the popular stuff out there, [but] it's hard enough to have relationships with real people.

"If you think about the people in your life, your family and friends, how much time do you have to really connect with them? To ask consumers en masse to have that kind of relationship with brands is one step too far."

He said Maris is trying to generate ideas that resonate with consumers at a more human level and then use technology to get across the message.

A recent campaign for Snickers, for example, used the tagline "You're Not You When You're Hungry", a simple insight that could be used in engaging ads.

Reaching consumers through individualised messaging is also an important element of the company's strategy and McColl saw a significant role for programmatic.

"The big change that's happening now is the way people are shopping and when you think about tailoring, or starting to merge how you communicate with how people buy, then programmatic and the ability to individualise messages there start to get very exciting," he said.

Data sourced from The Drum; additional content by Warc staff