M&M’s is sponsoring several Red Nose Day promotions to help raise donations for programs that aid children living in poverty.
For the third consecutive year, M&M’s will donate $1 million to the Red Nose Day Fund to help programs around the world that support children’s health, education and safety.
The Mars North America brand is also sponsoring multiple fundraising promotions — some in partnership with Walgreens.
M&M’s kicked off its promotions with a flash mob in New York City on May 1.
In the lead-up to the third annual Red Nose Day America, set for May 25, the candy brand will roll out a special vending machine at Walgreens stores in select markets. The machine dispenses coupons to raise donations and awareness in exchange for someone making a funny face, doing a silly dance or telling a joke.
The vending machine will be at a Walgreens in Los Angeles on May 4, Chicago on May 12, and New York on May 22.
The brand is encouraging shoppers outside these markets to take selfies or perform jokes or funny sketches wearing red noses from Walgreens and post them to their social channels, tagged with #NosesOn. Some of the posts will be featured in a co-branded M&M’s/Walgreens SmileNosesOn digital gallery. (Both Walgreens and Duane Reade stores across the U.S. are selling red noses for $1, with all profits going to the Red Nose Day Fund.)
On May 25 itself, M&M’s and Walgreens will be sponsors for three hours of NBC programming culminating in a “Red Nose Day Special” at 10 pm ET/PT. Fundraising efforts will be made throughout the programming.
During the programming, M&M’s will debut a new 60-second spot showing Mars employees helping children in need.
Leading up to the special at 10 pm ET/PT, NBC will air special show episodes: "Celebrity Ninja Warrior for Red Nose Day" and "Running Wild with Bear Grylls for Red Nose Day.” As the challenge sponsor of for the "Ninja" special, M&M's will make a donation to the Red Nose Day Fund for every obstacle the celebrities overcome.
In addition, Kyle Busch, who drives the No. 18 M&M’s car for NASCAR, will race the car with a special Red Nose Day paint scheme at the Kansas Speedway on May 13. M&M'S will provide attendees at pre-race events with Red Noses, and ask fans to take a #NosesOn “super selfie” after a Q&A with Busch.
Red Nose Day has raised over $1 billion globally since the campaign's launch in the U.K. in 1988. Red Nose Day came to the U.S. in 2015, where it has raised more than $60 million over the past two years for domestic and international programs.