Mars Wrigley is the combined chocolate, candy, mints and gum division of privately owned foods giant Mars Inc. The group was already a global giant in confectionery when it agreed to acquire leading worldwide chewing gum manufacturer Wm Wrigley Jr in 2008 with backing from investment company Berkshire Hathaway. Initially the two businesses of chocolate and gum were kept separate. Mars finally took full control of the Wrigley division in 2016, buying out Berkshire's shares, and the two organisations were eventually consolidated under the Mars Wrigley banner. This business is now one of two leaders in global confectionery alongside Mondelez. It houses several of the world's best-known confectionery brands including the two top-selling products overall: M&Ms and Snickers. These are supported by chocolate snacks Mars, Milky Way, Twix and Dove/Galaxy; Skittles and Starburst sugar confectionery; the Wrigley's, Extra and Orbit gum portfolio and a vast portfolio of smaller local or regional products. Wrigley is the global leader by far in gum and mints; Mars is #2 behind arch-rival Mondelez in global chocolate, and behind Hershey in the US. Andrew Clarke succeeded Martin Radvan as global president of Mars Wrigley in 2018.
Capsule checked 29th January 2019
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Adbrands Daily Update 28th Jan 2020: "Yoghurt Boy". You really don't want to know how they make Skittles Dips, trust me. Skittles ads have always trodden a fine line between the comical and the truly disturbing. Here's another of those times when they slip entirely into the latter category. DDB Chicago's nightmarish vision actually slipped out last Halloween in the UK, but was almost entirely overlooked at the time. What a shame; it's actually a miniature masterpiece. We love yoghurt boy but we seriously wouldn't want him in our own house, no matter how good he tastes.
Adbrands Daily Update 14th Jan 2019: For this year's Super Bowl in two weeks' time, Mars brand Skittles is aiming to top its 2018 stunt. That, famously, was an extended commercial featuring former 'Friends' star David Schwimmer. Only thing was, it aired to an audience of just one person. Californian teenager Marco Menendez was the lucky winner of the super-exclusive ballot. Every one else had to make do with a film of him watching the film, and few oddball excerpts. This year, the candy brand will stage a specially conceived one-off theatre performance - 'Skittles Commercial: The Broadway Musical' - at the Town Hall Theater in New York. No details have been released yet, but Mars promises that at least one celebrity is involved. Buy your tickets now at Ticketmaster!
Adbrands Weekly Update 21st Jun 2018: Mars announced the retirement later this year of Martin Radavan, currently global president of Mars Wrigley confectionery. His successor will be British-born Andrew Clarke, chief marketing & customer officer.
Adbrands Weekly Update 25th Jan 2018: Ads of the Week "Skittles Super Bowl: Sandwich". It's probably fair to say that Mars-owned Skittles has so far dominated the advance buzz for Super Bowl ads as a result of its typically oddball promise to show the final spot to just one fan... whose reactions will then be watched by everyone else. Just in case that wasn't enough of a gag, agency DDB Chicago is trailing the event with four bizarre spots starring former Friends star David Schwimmer, each achieving a different level of surreality. Click through at the end for the other three. In case you were wondering, this one is the least weird.
Adbrands Weekly Update 25th Jan 2018: Ads of the Week "Bitesize Horror: Floor 9.5". Reasons not to work late, pt 47. Mars has partnered with various Fox-owned cable networks in the US to conjure up a collection of scary ad breaks for the run-up to Halloween. Yes, we know that's still a couple of weeks away, but they like to get things started early in the US. These are all really excellent, with only the most minimal commercial interruption at top and tail. Each one was commissioned from a different independent creative team. This one is directed by Toby Meakins, written by Simon Allen. Be warned: they're also all quite scary, so find something to hide behind if you're watching late at night...
Adbrands Weekly Update 23rd Mar 2017: Mars is to launch its Maltesers brand in the US, only its second new chocolate launch in its domestic market in over 35 years. (It was preceded by the short-lived Fling in 2009). Maltesers were originally launched in Britain by Forrest Mars Sr in 1937, during his self-imposed exile from the US company founded by his father, and has been a household name there for most of the past 80 years. However, in that era before globalisation, a virtually identical malted milk ball product was introduced in the US two years later by another company under the name Whoppers. This product passed through several hands before ending up with Hershey, which also acquired US rights to the name "Malteser" in order to prevent Mars from launching its own product in America. A court battle ensued, eventually won by Mars two years ago, paving the way for the forthcoming launch.
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