This Week in PR: M&M surprise, Versace and a real debate

This was a week of celebrations; kudos, PR teams; your message was well received. First, M&M commemorated its 75 anniversary with a new surprise flavor that left many shocked but more so intrigued. Next, if you thought you’d seen Michelle slay before you were wrong. She owned the Obama’s final state dinner in a dress that outshined her. Great job, Donatella! And last, can we get an amen for the final debate aka the first and only ‘real’ debate of this presidential election?

M&M’s celebrate 75 anniversary with reinvention


Photo: Today.

After 75 years, M&M’s decided to get its biggest makeover yet. How do you reinvent an M&M? One clue, it’s not in the coat; dig within. Yes, M&M revealed its new caramel filled candy. Caramel now joins the ranks of our favorite peanut, milk chocolate and peanut butter M&M’s. The thought of this is sure to be a culinary orgasm to lovers of sweets, however those extra 240 calories will have to wait for a while as this new flavor will not hit shelves until May 2017.

Talk about making noise and causing excitement; people are anticipating what the brand is calling one of the biggest, most expensive and time-sensitive launches in M&M’s history. This goes to show that good marketing and PR isn’t always cheap but when it’s good it pays off. One can only imagine what the introduction of this flavor will mean for the company’s bottom line. An M&M spokesperson said the following regarding the new flavor.

“[Carmel is]the fastest growing flavor segment in food and the fourth largest flavor segment within the overall chocolate category.”


Photo: Today.

Based on consumer testing, M&M’s Caramel scored higher than any M&M’s brand variant ever. The brand has previously experimented with coffee nut and with textures like pretzel but never with a gooey base like caramel. You studied your consumer base well and listened; good job, M&M. Delivering these new sweets to the morning shows to have on air personalities was your best move yet. Seeing Hoda Kotb of the Today show melt on air while sampling the new candy was the kind of reaction that advertisers pay millions in an attempts to persuade the public. Seeing organic ecstasy live on TV is priceless! M&M, your new news came at the right time and is making waves but your pitching is giving you an even bigger buzz. Your PR team deserves a raise! Happy 75th!

The star of the final Obama state dinner is…Versace!


Photo: Yahoo! News.

And she wasn’t even in attendance! How does Versace make a statement and garner so much media attention the following morning without even stepping a foot in The White House, you ask? Simple. First Lady Michelle Obama stepped out at the Italian state dinner in a rose-gold chain mail-like Versace gown, which shined as much as it gracefully draped her bodes. If Barack dropped the mic at his last White House dinner, this time Michelle dropped jaws. The dress was a stellar choice reinforcing that Michelle is the ultimate White House style icon. It was sexy, sultry yet sleek and classy. It was edgy Versace yet regal as only Michelle knows how; this is what a paradox is supposed to look like!


Photo: Harper’s Bazaar.

The media took notice of the gown and immediately wanted to know who it was by. It wasn’t hard to guess after Donatella shared a very public ‘thank you’ on Instagram. The Italian celeb-designer had a few kind words for the First Lady.

“I am humbled and honored to have had the opportunity to dress the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. Thank you, Michelle, for all the things you have done for America and for the world, and especially, for empowering and inspiring women everywhere.”

The dress was full of angles for the media to pick up and report on. The gown is part of Versace’s most recent collection, which was all about a woman’s freedom. Let’s recall that this appearance is coming on the heels from her recent visit to New Hampshire where she delivered a powerful speech on women and respect. Metaphors were everywhere! Shiny chain-mail showing strength and beauty at the same time; her dress was a billboard for her message. How could the media not possibly notice? How could Versace’s name not come up? The gown was a great visual for her message but she was an even greater canvas for the Italian label. This was a mutually beneficial relationship; Michelle awed and achieved her agenda but Donatella won way more. Everyone was talking about Versace the following morning. There is the power of Oprah, Kim K’s touch, the effect of Beyoncé, however there’s another presence that cannot be denied; there is the grace of Michelle.

Donatella, if I were you I send something more than an Instagram post to Michelle. Having not worn Armani in front of Giorgio last night, I’d say you owe her one.

Photo: Instagram @armani.

Finally! A real debate.


Photo: US Weekly.

The final debate gave us, well…a debate! Personally I found it to be on the boring side considering I’ve been following for the show factor rather than for insight on policies. However, I will say that Trump and Hillary were both exactly who they had to be in order to uphold their audiences and persuade any potential undecided voters. Trump arrived calm and serene with a demeanor not seen before. He didn’t exactly go for Hil’s jugular as he did in the last debate. Rather, he came across strong and owning his stances; he even owned that whole thing about not accepting the vote results. Kudos, Trump; you were a politician during the evening. As for Hillary, she came angry with a fire in her belly and proved she is human. She was argumentative and concise and was ready to correct Donald at every turn. It was almost as if both candidates put on a show during the first two debates to ensure we would tune in to the third so we would actually listen to their issues. I almost wished that was planned because if so, it worked!

Hillary arrived in white which was the best move she could’ve done. White is synonymous of peace and innocence; it evokes calmness and honesty. I found myself thinking mid-debate; I trust what she’s saying right now; I was under the subconscious effect of the connotations her white suit was evoking in me. It’s a great subliminal move. Had she wore a black or teal suit for the evening, her message wouldn’t have been received the same; common color-psychology played at its best.

The arguments were loyal to the values each had been evoking from the start of their campaigns. There were no distractions from messaging; we know exactly where Donald stands and we know what Hillary plans. This was a great way to end the debates. Rep and Dem PR teams, you can now breathe; well sort of. Make sure nothing major surfaces in the next two weeks or that  your candidate does not do a classic ‘open mouth, insert foot.’ You know which one I’m talking about.

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