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

Page 1: Introduction

The Mars bar is part of our cultural heritage. Our parents and grandparents were brought up with Mars, and instantly recognise the product by its wrapper and distinctive taste. Most of them can instantly recall the famous strapline 'A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play'. Mars has been the number one selling single chocolate bar since records began. Today, Mars bars are sold in over 100...
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Page 2: Public Relations

PR is the planned and sustained effort an organisation makes to establish, develop and build relationships with its many publics. It involves providing clear, consistent and positive communications with people outside the organisation, including:consumerscustomersthe communitythe governmentother special interest groups e.g. nutritionists, health associations, the British Dental Association.PR is...
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Page 3: Changing the Mars bar

The UK confectionery market is worth over £3.5billion a year with over 50accounted for by chocolate products. In recent years, sales growth in chocolate confectionery has slowed and competition for market share has increased. Within the last thirty years, the Mars taste has been extended into other developed categories, including ice-cream and seasonal products (e.g. easter eggs, advent...
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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...
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Page 5: Co-ordinating the re-launch

A comprehensive media relations strategy was implemented to deliver relevant messages to the trade, marketing and consumer press. It was critical to communicate positive and accurate messages about the re-launch over a short time span. In designing the appropriate mix of messages, the PR programme also considered the various audiences receiving the news of the re-launch.
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Page 6: Trade

The Grocer magazine was identified as the leading trade title for the multiple sector and was therefore given an exclusive interview in March. Other trade publications were briefed later.
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Page 7: Marketing

It was essential to reach the marketing press, in order to communicate the specific changes to the brand positioning and advertising target as well to ensure pick-up of the story in national and regional newspapers. An exclusive interview was therefore given to a leading magazine, Marketing, in March. This was followed up with press releases and interviews with other magazines.
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Page 8: Consumers

An exclusive interview was organised with a leading journalist in the Media section of the Guardian. Press releases and interviews with national radio were also released in March.
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Page 9: Evaluation

The exercise can be judged a success if the Mars bar's market share and reputation is increased and enhanced. In addition, the market needs to become broader with more women and young people as purchasers. The loyal fan base would also need to be retained and built on. So what happened?Coverage of the re-launch appeared in all major newspapers and almost 100 regional paper and radio stations...
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Page 10: Conclusion

Re-launching a superbrand like Mars bar is expensive, involving changing production processes, and technologies, packaging methods and communication. This requires detailed planning throughout. However, all of this proves to be money well spent when the net effect is to re-position the product appropriately as 'Pleasure you can't measure - an every day treat for everyone'.The substantial media...
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