Daily Insights

Witch Way to the Candy?

By: Mackenzie Baker | Oct 21, 2020

Mars Wrigley’s new month-long, virtual Halloween celebration takes customers on a trip to Treat Town as the Coronavirus pandemic threatens to throw out traditional celebrations.  

Mars Wrigley, the confectioner behind brands like Skittles, Snickers, and M&M’s, is taking its fan-favorite treats virtual by letting parents and children trick or treat through a smartscreen experience. In Treat Town, families, friends, and children can decorate their own virtual house and give out digital “candy credits” to any trick or treaters that stop by. Within the experience, virtual users can set up personal avatars by designing face features and dressing them up in Halloween costumes. Users can also decorate their virtual home for Halloween by choosing from different decor or themes, such as Disney’s Haunted Mansion or Toyota’s M&M car for a “trunk or treat” experience. Trick or treaters can then go “door-to-door” and collect their candy credits from other users on the platform, which can be redeemed for real world treats online or at brick and mortar retailers. Alternatively, Halloween participants can donate their credits to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America as a cash donation. 

With in-person trick or treating up in the air this year, Mars Wrigley’s Treat Town could prove a sweet and safe solution. By creating a virtual initiative, Mars Wrigley can also expand its partnerships, including with Disney and the National Safety Council, to help engage children and keep pandemic precautions top of mind. As Halloween is a mega-sales event for candy companies, creating Treat Town could help Mars Wrigley drive virtual sales. Mars Wrigley had been scaling back its digital site experiences before the Coronavirus pandemic, according to a Gartner report, but after seeing it’s Easter sales negatively affected by the crisis, it pivoted its Halloween push to be fully virtual. By doing so, the candy company could now reach a wider array of digital viewers and homebound consumers who are spending more time online while seeking new ways to celebrate the holiday. Though Halloween will be different from year’s past, 74% of parents believe this year’s celebration is imperative, which is why Mars Wrigley joins brands like Party City, Hershey’s, and Pinterest by bringing digital entertainment to at-home families.  

Bringing candy and connections to Treat Town could help Mars Wrigley double down on its dedication to Halloween celebrations. As consumers dig into digital experiences during the Coronavirus pandemic, the candy maker’s fun-filled festivities could help it strengthen brand loyalty and sweeten up its virtual presence.