In 1932, Frank C. Mars, the creator of the Milky Way chocolate bar, gave his son $50,000 to travel to the UK and start his own business. Forrest Mars used the money to buy a factory in Slough.
It was here that, along with his 12 employees, Forrester began manufacturing his first creation, the Mars bar. The confectionary, a recipe of nougat and caramel wrapped in milk chocolate, would soon steal the nation’s hearts. The chocolate treat became such a staple that bars were distributed to British troops during World War II.
From the 1960s, and for more than three decades, the brand’s advertising encouraged us to ‘work, rest and play’ with Mars – an iconic strapline that was later revived in 2008.
‘Fun Size’ bars arrived in the 1970s to transform the Mars bar from on-the-go ‘meal for one’ to a regular household cupboard snack. Since then more than 30 Mars products in an assortment of brand variants and extensions have hit the market, incorporating milk drinks, ice creams and bags of sharing chocolates.
While the Mars bar brand and product line has grown, the basic recipe has largely stayed the same, as has the story told by Mars. What has changed is the ways in which that story has been told and where.
Television and print ads have been joined by the likes of social media advertising and football partnerships as a way of spreading Mars bar joy and the sentiments of “work, rest and play”.
There are plenty of lessons to be learned from successful brands like Mars when it comes to telling a story, so content marketers, take note.
Rather than trying to tell a new story every week, concentrate on creating new formats for the story that most powerfully speaks to your brand, your product and your perspective on the world.
That story can be illustrated in anything from a tweet to a case study, from video to print, from an event to a whitepaper Same story, different medium.
Audiences now decide for themselves how they want to consume content. And just like the mars fun-size bars, a different format of the same substance suits different contexts. Any good content marketer will consider how best to hit various parts of their audience with a format that suits them.
In this book we’ll take a look at how to build and expand the reach of your story, what it takes to spread your message wider and why thinking about these things from the start pays off later on.
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