Campaign UK

Mars seeks collaborat­ion in global start-up initiative

- By Sonoo Singh

Mars has rolled out a global initiative called Launchpad to connect its brands with start-ups around the world to collaborat­e on marketing challenges.

The company, which owns food and petcare brands including Twix, M&M’S, Whiskas and Pedigree, wants “external thinking” to help with new ideas.

Three times a year, Mars’ marketing and sales teams will come up with briefs around a variety of consumer challenges. This may range from social impact issues to emerging new business models to the future of retail.

Around 50 briefs will be collected, which will then be shortliste­d to ten. The most promising ones will be matched with start-ups.

Speaking to Campaign at Cannes, Andrew Clarke, global chief marketing officer at Mars, said: “We need to bring in much more external thinking to provoke us and to get some of the best thinking around how to solve the problems of the future.

“We can’t do it all ourselves – whether it is product innovation or businessmo­del innovation – and therefore increasing­ly we are looking to partner and collaborat­e.”

Launchpad, which went live in April, has been created in partnershi­p with Mars’ media planning agency, Mediacom, which will act as “matchmaker” for the company.

Clarke added: “The initiative is about putting our dollars into test and learn, where the main goal of the programme is to bring in different ideas that will eventually add value for consumers.

“I’m not expecting every single idea to be a success, but we are hoping to learn as much from the failures as the successes from this initiative. It is about bringing new energy from the outside into the business.”

Mars picked up 179 Lions last week, 11 of which were golds. Most awards (111) were for Snickers “Hungerithm” by Clemenger BBDO Melbourne.

 ??  ?? M&M’S: could benefit from ‘external thinking’ by working with start-ups
M&M’S: could benefit from ‘external thinking’ by working with start-ups

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