M&M’s commandeers a slogan from KFC

The Mars Wrigley brand couldn't use its own iconic tagline to promote a new chocolate bar, so it borrowed another one.

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Mars Wrigley chose a chicken tagline to promote its new M&M’s milk chocolate bar, hijacking KFC’s well-known slogan, “finger-lickin’ good” for 48 hours.

M&M’s Canada announced that “[its] new chocolate bar melts in your mouth and your hand. It’s #FingerLickinGood” on social media earlier this month. The move caused quite a stir, as well as a bit of friendly banter between the two brands on Twitter, which ended with a photo of a create of the chocolate bars parked in front of a KFC restaurant.

According to Jaclyn Sutton, head of marketing and strategy at Mars Wrigley Canada, the M&M’s brand’s iconic slogan – “it melts in your mouth, not in your hand” – did not apply to the new bar, as it “actually does melt in your hand.

“We thought about other tag lines that would fit, and we thought about KFC’s ‘finger lickin’ good,’” says Sutton. “We approached them about borrowing their tagline and obviously went through the proper legal channels.” Sutton tells strategy that they thought the move would be a fun, disruptive move on social, where the brand has resonance with younger consumers – and where brands have been staging “conversations” between each other for years. She says that M&M Canada is already a bit of a “jester” brand that likes to be cheeky, and that it is always looking to for different ways to bring the brand to life.

Another example of the brand’s cheeky brand voice is a pop-up shop at Union Station in Toronto, the first time the brand has ever sold M&M’s-related merchandise in Canada. The line includes yellow t-shirts, water bottles and tote bags. There, as well as online from April 22 to June 24, consumers can participate in the annual “Flavor Vote” and trial Mexican Jalapeño Peanut, English Toffee Peanut and Thai Coconut Peanut M&M flavours. The vote is aligned with a contest which will send a winner and a friend on a trip around the world to Mexico, England and Thailand.

This KFC tagline was the work of Mars Wrigley agencies BBDO, FHR, MediaCom, Citizen Relations, was as the team at Grip, KFC’s creative agency.