M&M targets millennials with at-home indulgence

Who: M&M Food Market, with Cossette for strategy and creative; Steam Films for production (directed by Gemma Warren); Outsider Editorial, Ethos Studio and Studio Feather for post-production; Berkeley for audio; and Initiative for media.

What: “There’s No Restaurant Like Home,” a new campaign intended to broaden the brand’s appeal among older millennials.

When & Where: The campaign is in market now, running across online video and digital out-of-home, as well as paid and organic social media.

Why: M&M’s vice-president of marketing, Greg Boyer, said the campaign is specifically intended to refresh the 43-year-old brand and get it on the radar of its “next generation” of fans. “For that, we need to show people what role the brand can play in their everyday lives,” he said.

The campaign also marks what Boyer called a “significant shift” in the audience the company is attempting to reach, from the Boomers and Gen Xers to older Millennials. “It’s important to note that we didn’t obsess over these targets as specific age groups,” he said. “Rather, we treated them as mindsets and life stages.”

How: All of the creative reflects the dining rituals, needs and wants of a generation in the first chapter of “real” adulthood, said Boyer. They’re living with a long-term partner, navigating life with a young family, or contending with the reality of having roommates in their 30s.

“These consumers are still craving the novelty, indulgence and satisfaction of restaurant food, but they’re less interested or able to get it from restaurants themselves because they have kids or financial restraints, or they just want to flop on the couch after work, not get dressed up and go out,” he said.

The look and feel of the creative was inspired by famed British food photographer Martin Parr, who is known for his “brightly-lit and colour-saturated” approach to photography and for images that are often “wryly humorous and sometimes acerbic.”

One spot, “Burger Bar,” opens on a young man at an outdoor barbecue, contemplating just some of the more than 450 products offered by M&M.

“You’ve been to plenty of barbecues in your day, but none quite like backyard food barbecue with a spread from M&M Food Market,” says the voiceover, before the man begins stacking appetizers—calamari, mozzarella sticks, bacon-wrapped scallops, etc.—on his hamburger. “There’s only place you get to enjoy a topping pile this unhinged, and that’s right here.”

A second spot, “Apps for Dinner,” shows a young couple at home, enjoying what the voiceover describes as an “all-you-can-app” feast consisting of M&M favourites like chicken wings and pizza. “Because on this particular occasion, you don’t want just one meal—you want several tiny ones.” Both spots feature the “There’s no restaurant like home,” tagline.

The creative also reflects changing customer attitudes towards food. For example, while appetizers were once regarded as being suitable just for entertaining, consumers are increasingly enjoying them as a snack or filling their plates to enjoy as a meal.

“Furthermore, they were combining our products in fun, imaginative and delicious ways, which is a behaviour we sought to lean into and encourage with our latest campaign,” said Boyer.

And we quote: “M&M Food Market is uniquely positioned between the indulgence of going to a restaurant and the convenience of home delivery. Both offerings have their drawbacks, but where M&M Food Market thrives is giving consumers the opportunity to enjoy great food any way they like. Inspired by the works of Martin Parr, we embraced this bold tone and leaned into the pure joy of eating restaurant-style food in the comfort of your own home.” — Anthony Atkinson, Executive Creative Director, Cossette. “

Chris Powell