Blog: Mars Cash-es in on sporting fever
Dean Best | 7 April 2009
It isn't everyday that you get the chance to play tennis with a former Wimbledon champ.
But yesterday (6 April) just-food did exactly that when your reporter hit some balls around with Pat Cash, one of Mars' "sports ambassadors".
Aside from getting some handy hints on how to improve my backhand (my grip is way off - just like the rest of my game!) I also got a sneak preview of Mars' latest marketing push, set to kick-off next month.
All in all, it seems a pretty nifty campaign that will encompass TV, print and online marketing as well as tie-ups with media partners The Sun and Talksport radio.
By linking itself to something as emotional as sport, Mars seems to have hit quite a sweet spot. Last year, Mars' football-related campaign resulted in a 12% sales uplift. So this year, now that the brand is linked to four sports, it is likely that the campaign will help Mars ace the opposition and strike a chord with an even wider audience.
And rather than having one "face" it has four: Cash is jointed by Darren Gough, John Barnes and Austin Healey to promote sport and, well, chocolate.
As Cash quipped: "I'm looking forward to eating a lot of chocolate bars and hitting a lot of balls this summer."
Interestingly, Cash highlighted the importance of getting children into sport. “I’m passionate about getting kids out there and playing,” he said.
Nevertheless, Mars’ campaign is aimed squarely at adults – TV ads will not air during children’s programming and – significantly – under 16s will be excluded from getting involved in the sporting activities arranged by the company, including the 'Bounce Off' sports day style event to be held in June.
“If a kid came along with their mum [to an event] and she said it was OK, then we’d be comfortable giving them a ball,” a spokesperson for Mars’ explained. “We have a very clear policy at Mars – we don’t advertise to children.”
Obviously, Mars is highly sensitive to accusations that by promoting chocolate to children it is feeding into the nation’s obesity problem. But it seems strange that this has led to a situation where the company has had to bar children from being actively involved in sporting activities designed to get people interested in tennis, cricket, rugby and football.
Cash’s answer to this was simple: “By getting parents involved that’ll feed through to the kids.”
Linking in with the summer’s major sporting events would seem to be a winning stroke that might mean its strawberries and chocolate at Wimbledon this year.
Katy Humphries, deputy editor
We hear a lot in the food industry about two interconnected trends: and social media and “foodie” culture....
Nestle, set to welcome a new CEO on 1 January, has announced more changes to the make-up of its senior management team....
Blue Bell Creameries is trying to win back the trust of consumers after a fatal listeriosis outbreak last year was linked to its products - but in recent days the US ice cream maker has issued another...
The UK's competition regulator has given the all-clear to Hain Celestial's bid to buy UK food and beverage group Orchard House Foods, nine months after the US group announced the deal....
- General Mills on Q1, innovation, margins
- Interview: Mondelez's outlook for China
- Aryzta FY results, outlook for 2017 - 6 takeaways
- What next for Bernard Matthews? - comment
- Interview: Mondelez eyes sweet success in China
- ConAgra acquires Frontera Foods' "gourmet" brands
- Nestle close to finalising Garoto deal
- Nestle revamps foodservice arm
- Aryzta FY profits fall
- Nestle launches Nesquik Protein Plus for adults
- The Big 15: Strategies and Priorities of Top Packaged Food Players in Comparison
- Global Chocolate Confectionery Overview: Challenges, Opportunities and Risks
- Redefining Snacks: From Conventional Snacks to Snack Replacements
- Global Foodservice Market 2016-2020
- Constellation Brands, Inc. (STZ) - Financial and Strategic SWOT Analysis Review