NEW YORK (AP) — Is Yellow ready for its close-up?
M&M's will feature its yellow peanut M&M "spokescandy" in its Super Bowl ad this year. The Mars Inc. brand has released a pre-Super Bowl teaser ad online that shows the character dancing in a headband before being shot by a tranquilizer dart and dragged off camera.
"Find out what happens to Yellow," a hand-written card reads.
The teaser is part of a Super Bowl ad trend: More content is being released ahead of time online in the hope that it goes viral. Advertisers are seeking to drum up excitement for their spots running during the big game, when more than 108 million people are expected to watching Feb. 2.
They're also hoping to get more bang for their buck: A 30-second Super Bowl ad costs about $4 million.
M&M's says the online teaser ad is a first for the company.
"We see it as a very effective way to drive anticipation and allude to what the spot will be without revealing surprises," said Seth Klugherz, M&M's marketing director. The company also plans pseudo-media interviews with the Yellow character before the big game.
The Yellow spokescandy was introduced along with the other multicolored mascots in 1954. Its current incarnation is voiced by actor J.K. Simmons, who has had roles in movies including "Juno" and "Spider-Man." In the past, yellow has played a sidekick to the Red spokescandy, so this year is a bit of a star turn.