Thursday, February 14, 2008

Working Nostalgia in PR - and Happy Valentine's Day!

I don't write about product launches much anymore - well, never anymore - but this was just too good to pass up, especially since today is Valentine's Day. M&M's had come out with Green M&M's for Valentine's Day.

I didn't see any PR on the launch, and had to search for the press release (look, they did an SMR - and it didn't seem to do anything for them!) - but I did come across a POP set-up at Walgreen's, where I clicked the photo in this piece.

Despite the seemingly lack of PR on this (and, I watch enough TV, read one print and at least 2 online papers a day, that I am sure I would have caught something), the product did bring out old memories from when I was in the 5th grade.

And, being sick this week, I dreamt of the school (being sick brings out old memories and dreams for me).

Green M&M's Mean Love

In the fifth grade, my best friend (Ezra Bookstein) and I decided to go along with the urban legend of Green M&Ms, and start a horny collection of candy. Did we believe in the aphrodisiac properties of the M&Ms? Not sure, but come on, we were stupid kids. So, we had a lucite box, and we started filling it with green M&Ms, and then expanded it to other green candy, such as gummi bears and Now & Laters.

This went on for a few months, and the girls took notice of it, so decided to start their own corollary, the hot collection. Same idea, but since they were hot, it was all in red. I am pretty sure that Selma Beitner (aka Selma Blair) came up with the idea.

So, pretty much two groups of students at a school with a lot of time on their hands, disposable income for candy, and sweet tooths. I also learned about Greek history that year (thanks Mrs. Levy!) and how to write well (thanks Mrs. Levy!) and about orchids (thanks Mrs. Levy!) and about my namesake (thanks Mrs. Berris). Yes, I went to a small school.

Seeing the green M&Ms, though, brought back these memories - and it's a smart move to tap into nostalgia for products. It's why Transformers worked well as a movie, why there's talk about other 70's and 80's properties being made as movies ... or being re-released for my generation's own children. And, yes, I bought a few packs.

The three things I wanted to say about this post: first, the SMR doesn't work, or this would have had more coverage. A better written release, smart outreach, better PR would have done more. Second, yes, I went to school with Selma Blair, but haven't spoken to her in about 20 years. Third, hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day!
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