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, along with his 12 employees, that 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.

‘Fun Size’ bars arrived in the 1970s to transform the Mars bar from an 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 is told and where.

Now, social media and football partnerships joins the likes of television and print as ways of spreading Mars bar joy. Thereby guaranteeing the sentiments of “work, rest and play” reach every generation.

We can learn plenty of lessons from successful brands like Mars when it comes to telling a story.

Content marketers, take note.

Rather than trying to tell a new story every week, concentrate on creating new formats for your story. In particular, explore what most powerfully represents your brand, your product, and your perspective on the world.

Stories are now illustrated in anything from a tweet to a case study, video to print, events to newsletters.

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 and audiences. Any good content marketer will consider how to reach various audiences with a format that suits them best.


In the above Turtl file we take a look at how to build and expand the reach of a story. Particularly, what it takes to spread your message wider and why thinking about these things from the start pays off.

Keep up to date with the latest industry ideas on content distribution, promotion and reach by signing up to our newsletter.

Subscribe to the Turtl newsletter

A round up of insights, trends, and tips on the world of content marketing