Getting the right message across - the re-launch of Mars
A Masterfoods case study

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Page 4: Why Public Relations

Market research showed that younger people who do eat Mars bars are the product's most frequent consumers. The chart below shows the importance of the younger market in terms of sales volumes. It was vital to communicate to them about the new bar. It was also necessary to attract more female consumers in order to build further the Mars bar's popularity in the 16-24 age group.

To achieve their communications objectives, Masterfoods decided to use extensive PR in addition to the usual amount of traditional media i.e TV, outdoor posters, press/magazine advertisements. This approach produced greater public understanding of the rationale of the re-launch and, ultimately, consumer acceptance of the re-launched Mars bar. The new advertisements and other elements of the re-launch campaign did not break until mid April 2002, so the re-launch was lead by PR, which began four weeks before the first TV advertisement was aired.

In making major changes to a product, it is essential to communicate clearly:

  • what changes are taking place
  • why these changes are taking place
  • how the public, in particular consumers, will be better off.

The objectives of the public relations campaign prior to the re-launch were essentially two-fold:

1.Communicate the re-launch of an icon superbrand and ensure understanding of the rationale for the changes (product, packaging and advertising strapline), which should help lead consumers ultimately to accept the re-launched Mars bar.

2.Gain trade support (among retailers) to ensure a smooth transition of over thirty different packs in-store all over the UK as well as support promotional activities and effective through-the-line communication at the point of sale.

Masterfoods | Getting the right message across - the re-launch of Mars