Join Canada's most Speck-tacular Egg hunt

M&M's is asking Canadians to "Join the Hunt." Created by Proximity Canada, BBDO Toronto, and Firstborn Multimedia based in New York, the campaign uses television, point of sale and online media inviting consumers to find and collect eggs with PIN codes and point values hidden on the web and inside specially marked packages of M&M's Speck-tacular Eggs. The more points collected, the better the chances of winning thousands of instant prizes or one of three grand prize getaways to New York, Las Vegas or Orlando, Florida. The M&M's "Join the Hunt" campaign ramps up its spring promotions this week with the launch of two 30-second television ads.

"The M&M's brand has always been about sharing," said Christine Parent-Inch, Brand Director, Mars Canada Inc. "The virtual egg hunt was an extraordinary idea for the brand that builds on multiple platforms to engage the consumer. The entire campaign encourages participants to experience the brand through a virtual world that they can explore and tap into in a multitude of ways. What better way to bring the colorful chocolate fun of M&M's Speck-tacular Eggs to sharing occasions than by creating a giant egg hunt that can get all of Canada hunting."

The "Join the Hunt" 30-second English animated television ad features renowned M&M's characters "Red" and "Yellow" pursuing their own egg hunt. In the spot, Yellow, without a basket, ends up stuffing all of his collected M&M's Speck-tacular Eggs in his mouth. The announcer communicates the contest details, prizing and how to enter, and the end-tag encourages consumers to visit JoinTheHunt.ca to start collecting their eggs.

Using the website as a reference for the overall look and feel for the television spot, BBDO Toronto worked in collaboration with Firstborn to bring Red and Yellow to life on the small screen. BBDO Toronto provided the creative concept and direction while Firstborn handled the storyboards, 3D modeling, animation, lighting, compositing and rendering.

"Bunny Suit" also airs in English and French Canada this week. In this 30-second spot, Red and Yellow disguise themselves in a bunny costume and hide M&M's Speck-tacular Eggs in and around a house. The ad's end-tag also encourages consumers to visit JointheHunt.ca.

But the fun really begins online at JoinTheHunt.ca, where users begin their search for hidden eggs. Strategically placed around the site, a total of 16 eggs can be found. There are also four games that are part of the site: hopscotch, memory, word search and boat race, that participants can play and if they win, can accumulate even more points to put towards their score. The contest requires all participants to create an account at JoinTheHunt.ca that enables them to enter their PIN numbers and keep track of their points.

Four websites are also hidden within the JoinTheHunt.ca site containing additional eggs and PIN Codes. They include www.specktacular.ca, www.checkthenest.ca, www.lookunderthebridge.ca and www.emptythebowl.ca.

"We had a lot of fun working in collaboration with Firstborn to build the campaign around the idea of an egg hunt," said John Gagne, VP, Creative Director, Proximity Canada. "The ideas and places where we could hide the eggs were only limited to our imagination and we really got creative with them. Someone will be doing their regular online searches or surfing the net, when all of a sudden they'll come across an egg. This element of surprise will certainly keep the momentum."

More eggs and PIN codes can be found through banner ads strategically placed on approximately 260 web sites between March 2, 2009 and April 12 2009. Participating sites include JoinTheHunt.ca, MSN.ca, Yahoo.ca, Canoe.ca, MySpace.com, YouTube.com, Kaboodle.com, Oxygen.com iVillage.com and TheWeatherNetwork.com. The full list can be found at http://www.jointhehunt.ca/rules.html.

Proximity Canada developed the digital campaign and creative direction. Firstborn handled the design, flash and backend development, 3D modeling and sequence animation for the site.

"This was the first project Firstborn had collaborated with Proximity Canada and BBDO Toronto on," said Michael Ferdman, CEO of Firstborn. "In the truest sense of the word, everyone had something distinct and unique to bring to the table to build this campaign. As it evolved, so did all of our ideas to reach out and bring consumers into our virtual world."

In-store, standees, wobblers and step-headers are used to identify the Join the Hunt contest. Specially marked packages of M&M's Speck-tacular Eggs include a PIN code located inside the wrapper that also contains points for contest participants to use towards their tally.

The contest closes June 30, 2009 and the Grand Prize draw will be held in Toronto on July 15, 2009. The television spots air nationally across Canada on conventional and specialty networks. OMD Canada handled the media buy.

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