Mars – The Sweetstake

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How did we connect Mars brands with the UK during the 2018 FIFA World Cup?


The FIFA World Cup is the worlds biggest sporting event, with 3.4 billion people watching the month long tournament. Mars wanted to drive sales of Mars brands (Mars, M&M’s, Maltesers, Snickers, Galaxy, Skittles and Extra) during the world cup by connecting with football fans as they watch the game. But that doesn’t come without its challenges.

1. Attention: Unsurprisingly, brands from every category are trying to harness the sporting fever and drive incremental sales (a quick look in the supermarket aisles shows a sea of green grass, inflatable footballs and flags of the world). We would need to cut through the clutter with a distinctive and compelling activation.

2: Irrelevance: Whilst chocolate and candy are relevant for the sports watching occasion at home, they are not considered relevant brands when our shoppers go about their daily lives as consumers -therefore Mars brands just aren’t on their shopping list.


If Mars wanted to ride the wave of the FIFA World Cup fever, they would need to find a way to join this national event, with their products at the heart.

The FIFA World Cup has the incredible power to bring people together. People join “tribes”, get swept away with patriotic fever, decorate houses and cars, skive off work to watch the game, host parties, gather round screens in the street to watch our team – and they join in sweepstakes.

Understanding these rituals, our idea was a modern take on the traditional sweepstake. Our idea, “The Sweetstake” started life as a fun on pack promotion where each promotional pack contained a gameplay scenario that acted as a ticket to win free products or cash prizes. Here’s how it worked:

• Purchase promotional pack with unique code
• Visit: to get your game play scenario
• Watch the match and see if you win


The Sweetstake was Mars’ most successful cross-category promotion ever.

  • Outperformed Mars’ previous promotion sales by 19%
  • Increased net sales value by 13%
  • Over 110m impressions
  • Over 750,000 fans entering and 95,000 fans winning prizes
  • Mars were crowned ‘partner of choice for football activations’ by Co-Op