US confectionery giant Mars Inc. has reported that traffic to the website of its M&M candy brand increased by 145% earlier this month, prompted by a global survey enabling consumers to vote for the next M&M colour.

“The recent online ad campaign by M&Ms is a great case study in how Web advertising can build brand awareness and drive site traffic,” said Charles Buchwalter, VP, media research for NetRatings.

During the week ended 19 May, 336,000 surfers logged on to, according to Internet audience measurement service NetRatings. Of these visitors, the majority were female, as the site attracted a 67-to-33% gender split in favour of women.

A total of 30% of the consumers voted for the colour purple, which was the most popular choice. Pink and aqua were the other choices.

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