As a marketing guy, I can't let this new M&Ms promotion pass without comment.  This has got to be one of the best advertising campaigns I've seen for a mature consumer product in a long, long time.  It involves so many elements of the marketing mix, you really have to congratulate the M&M/Mars team for a well-thought-out promotion.
For those who don't know what I'm talking about, M&Ms is running a promotion right now where they are shipping only "colorless" (black and white) M&Ms.  Around the US, there are six bags of colored M&Ms in circulation -- each one a whole bag of a single color.  Each buyer of those six bags wins $20,000, a Volksvagen Beetle convertible, and a trip to LA. Sweet.  But c'mon, six bags out of how many millions of M&Ms sold in the US?  The fine print says: "Odds of winning: 1:19,356,942."  Yeah, well, I'm going to Vegas in a few weeks, I think I'll take the odds at the blackjack table instead.
Still, it's a great promotion.  The television ads are really smart  -- from the black&white sequence in "Wizard of Oz", Dorothy wakes up from her dream surrounded by M&Ms.  But she says she dreamed them to be in color.  They also did a tie-in on one of the New Year's Eve television programs.  There have been news stories on CNN and other media.  M&Ms is sending a tour bus around the country as a tie-in to the promotion.  They've built a great website.
So I guess the only question is, plain or peanut?

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