In 2015, M&M'S launched a movement to raise money and awareness for the first U.S. Red Nose Day, a campaign dedicated to raising money for children and young people living in poverty by simply having fun and making people laugh.
How did we spread awareness and help spark donations? We started off with a $750,000 donation from M&M'S to Red Nose Day Fund and then we rallied our enormous M&M'S fan base to help us make a difference by making someone laugh. When fans made someone laugh and made it known with hashtag #MakeMLaugh across social media, a dollar went to Red Nose Day from M&M'S, up to $250,000.
In a multi-faceted campaign, we united celebrities, influencers and M&M'S fans across the country to #MakeMLaugh.
Sponsorship Announcement – A coordinated media push between M&M'S, Comic Relief and NBC helped unveil our partnership around the first-ever U.S. Red Nose Day, including a stream of social media shares from stars with M&M'S characters including Heidi Klum, Nick Canon, Howie Mandel, Joe Jonas, Chris D'Elia and more.
#MakeMLaugh Kick-Off Event – Comedian and Saturday Night Live cast member, Jay Pharaoh, hosted the "funniest five minutes" at M&M'S World in New York City to help generate laughs – and donations. Social media influencers were in attendance to share the content across their channels using our dedicated hashtag and Jay conducted a media tour to continue to spread awareness.
Influencer Push – Social media was king in this campaign, as we partnered with a wide array of influencers to share our messaging and #MakeMLaugh. Top-tier YouTubers, bloggers, content creators and more posted social content and triggered donations. Celebrities such as Olivia Wilde, Josh Groban and Wayne Brady also got on board by sharing how they #MakeMLaugh and receiving customized Red Nose Day M&M'S.
Los Angeles Influencer Event – To sustain usage of #MakeMLaugh content, we created a custom, interactive event in Los Angeles headlined by Gen Z/Millennial internet and TV stars (e.g. James Maslow, Carlos PenaVega), artists (Cailee Rae), and comedians (Paz) all in attendance to create innovative content.
Owned Social Content – To further spread awareness about the initiative and drive usage of hashtag #MakeMLaugh, we consistently pushed out owned social content featuring the beloved M&M'S characters and partnered with Twitter for a Promoted Trend.
Red Nose Day Telethon – During the Red Nose Day telethon, Nick Cannon held a dance party with Red and Yellow character inflatables and Josh Groban made a special shout out to M&M'S for our participation, including a call to action for users to use the #MakeMLaugh hashtag, further spreading awareness of M&M'S participation in the program and driving donations.
In total, M&M'S made a combined donation to the Red Nose Day fund of $1,250,000. Media coverage also resulted in 188.8 million media impressions on top outlets such as Variety, Forbes, Ad Age, Huffington Post Live, People and Entertainment Tonight. Additionally, the social campaign, influencer participation and celebrity push generated 269.7 million social media impressions, of which, 123.1 million were earned. The hashtag was used over 78,000 times, with 2.9 million engagements on #MakeMLaugh content.