October 18th, 2018

M&M’s Halloween Ad is an Instant Classic


Ace Metrix

M&M’s Halloween ad connects with viewers using nostalgia and signature humor fans know and love.

If there’s one thing wrong with M&M’s, it’s that we don’t get enough of the iconic candy characters. However, this year the brand decided to treat fans to its first new Halloween ad in 11 years, starring Red and Yellow. The 15-second spot, well worth the wait, gave viewers a sense of nostalgia while driving desire in a Likeable manner that builds off the excitement of the upcoming holiday.

Produced by BBDO New York, “Ghosted” brings the spooky spirit with spine-chilling music and eerie visuals, but lightens the mood with a hint of humor. The Emo chart below depicts how viewers connected with the spot for different emotions/reactions — the presence of a given emotion is stronger the farther it is from center. The most intense Emo evoked was Love It, indicating general Likeability of the ad (which is matched by it’s above-candy-advertising-norm Likeability score). A lot of that fondness comes from the spokescandies’ cameos. Both Red and Yellow were named the Single Best Thing about the ad by 23% of viewers and their Likeability is reflected in viewer comments further below.


  • “I love the ad personally I have always enjoyed M&M commercials because of the characters they use and the relatable scenes.” Female, 16-20
  • “I love any ad that M&Ms features with their signature M&Ms guys.” Male 36-49
  • “The M & M characters have gotten better throughout the years, and the yellow one is so sweet. The product itself is yummy.” Female 16-20
  • “I love the M&M ads, the characters are always my favorite” Female 16-20
  • “love the m and m guys. nice halloween feel to it” Female 36-49
  • “M &m’s for a hallowen ad is a perfect match. It’s always fun to see these characters” Male 21-35

Building on top of the Love It Emo, the new Halloween spot also registered solid signal for Nostalgic, Ingenious, Quirky, Funny and Cute sentiments. In fact, this ad was more nostalgic than 92% of ads where that Emo is present.

“Ghosted” created a sense of nostalgia as it brought back memories and feelings associated with other timeless ads from M&M’s. Some even (prematurely) agreed this ad is a classic itself. A sample of comments below reflect on the sentimental feeling:

  • “This is a classic commercial that no matter how many times you see it you just cannot get over it. I mean i have seen this ad so many times but i would have no problem watching it again.” Male 36-49
  • “Classic! I love the M&Ms, cute concept, no cheesy punchline, just a visual that goes great with the Halloween spirit. Short and simple too, didn’t overplay it. Walking through the mailbox was the best part.” Female 21-35
  • “I absolutely adore M&Ms commercials, especially Halloween ones. They’re funny, witty, simple. They’re classic.” Female 16-20
  • “These running characters are so fun and witty. It promotes the brand with cheerful holiday skits that are always amusing, and make you think about the product.” Male 21-35
  • “I love all the ads with the M&M characters. They are clever and memorable, unlike 99% of the other ads I see on TV” Male 21-35

As there are different genres of funny, and humor varies from one viewer to the next, Funny is often accompanied by Quirky or Cute Emos, or in this case both. The ad also successfully generated an appropriate amount of eerie feelings…after all, it is Halloween themed.

M&M’s “Ghosted” Top-2 Box Purchase Intent

Given the Purchase Intent for “Ghosted,” where 63% of viewers said they were much more/more likely to buy, we’re not sure Red or Yellow will make it through the Halloween season uneaten. Congrats to M&M’s and BBDO New York for creating another hit with “Ghosted”!


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