Mars' 3 Musketeers characters are back together for the first time in more than a decade, for a new national ad campaign.
The "Why 3?" campaign, from DDB Chicago, is built around four humorous videos (three 17-second and one 45-second) answering that question. Various numbers of actors playing musketeers are featured in gag vignettes, in contemporary settings, that play on the number three.
One of the shorts, for example, shows a solo, frustrated musketeer stuck in a highway traffic jam. A voiceover asks: "Why 3 Musketeers?," then answers (with simultaneous screen copy): "Because 1 Musketeer can't use the carpool lane."
Other gags involve a taxi, a mirror and, in the longest video (below), the 3 Musketeers double-Dutch jump-roping to "skip-hop" music.
All end with the message: "3 Musketeers: the perfect amount of chocolate, fluffy, and Musketeer."
The four videos are now live on the brand's YouTube channel. They will be promoted on social media, and supported by digital advertising, shopper marketing and public relations.
The candy brand characters based on Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers were last seen back in the ‘90s, in a campaign originating the "Big on Chocolate, Not on Fat" tagline. A general-market version from the Uniworld Group agency broke ground by featuring the first African-American in the 3 Musketeers.
More recent TV spots featured women, sometimes using the above tagline and sometimes the claim "light, fluffy chocolate with 45% less fat" (than the average of the leading chocolate brands). Spots have also promoted product launches such as a mint variety (2007) and the 3 Musketeers Truffle Crisp (2010), "A lighter way to enjoy chocolate."
The new campaign aims to attract Millennials, rekindle sales among older consumers, and "delight" current fans, by combining the increasingly popular advertising nostalgia approach with a contemporary twist.
The campaign "features the beloved characters associated with our brand, but in a funny and unexpected way,” says 3 Musketeers brand director Allison Miazga-Bedrick.
The brand, launched in 1932, was named 3 Musketeers because it originally had three flavors (chocolate, strawberry and vanilla) in one package. War-time rationing led to the candy dropping two of the flavors in 1945 to leave the most popular, chocolate variety.