Viewers were treated to another strong entry from M&Ms during their Super Bowl XLVIII advertisement on Sunday, Feb. 2.
M&Ms' new commercial finds its roots in the found-footage concept. It's a trendy genre in film in recent years that looks to take on a sweetened angle in the teaser for ad, but then treads into ominous territory when an apparent abduction occurs.
The "Yellow" M&M is recording a video of himself, perhaps for an audition or just to monitor his progress as he swells and hardens the strength of his chocolaty shell. His red, white and blue headband and wristbands add a nice patriotic touch to boot.
As in many found-footage flicks—think The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, Cloverfield, a personal favorite of yours truly in Chronicle, etc.—the plot thickens with a scare.
Yellow is suddenly hit with a tranquilizing dart, dropping his voice several octaves as he drops to the hard gym floor unconscious.
A mysterious figure with gloves, a big coat—and, we can infer, dark shady sunglasses and a strange hat—then holds a sign that reads, "Find Out What Happens to Yellow 2/2/14."
At the very end of the teaser, a big hint is dropped about peanut M&Ms. One possibility is that Yellow is being taken into one of the 100 lucky M&Ms to become a peanut, as the company promotes.
On Sunday, the company revealed the full ad, including Yellow's abductor's plans for him:
The abduction theme has been rampant in M&M ads and it's a formula that's paid dividends before.
There was this gem, the "Devour" ad, where Red is set up with a chocolate-obsessed woman, unbeknownst to him. The oblivious "Red" is convinced he's wooed the lady with his charm, but he might be meeting a darkly comedic fate:
At least this time around, it's Red finding the footage of Yellow's alleged kidnapping. Now that he's evidently averted disaster from the previous pursuits, he should be hardened enough to save Yellow and keep the M&Ms family intact.
It should be exciting to see how the intriguing plot line develops, whether Yellow, Red or both become peanut hybrids and what that means for their destinies.
Part of what makes Super Bowl Sunday compelling is the advertising. While some companies disappoint with letdowns from time to time, M&Ms looks to be on top of things in 2014.