Still from Maltesers ad Powerpoint

‘Powerpoint’ features a woman relating an embarrassing workplace incident

Mars Wrigley Confectionery has kicked off a new campaign for Maltesers to “challenge the stereotyping and misrepresentation of women”.

Called Celebrating Similarities, two comical ads are based on conversations with a diverse range of women about their experiences and “how they look on the lighter side of life” – from the realities of ageing to the challenges of dating. ‘Powerpoint’ features a middle-aged businesswoman relating an embarrassing workplace incident, while ‘Accountant’ focuses on a gay vegan whose ‘off-putting’ job prevents her from attracting a date.

Making their debuts on TV and online today (23 March), the 30-second clips were “a continuation of Maltesers’ commitment to represent the diversity of its customers through its marketing” said Mars. The new push used “a lightness of touch to tackle previously ‘unmentionable’ topics”.

The supplier worked with Age UK throughout to ensure all messaging was “accurately and light-heartedly delivered”, and Stonewall helped source some of the focus groups that contributed ideas.

Maltesers had “become synonymous with brave, taboo-challenging work” claimed Mars, which in September 2016 unveiled three ads for the confectionery brand that starred disabled actors. The trio was developed in response to C4’s Superhumans Wanted competition to encourage advertisers to think differently about how they represent disability in their campaigns, winning Mars and agency AMV BBDO £1m of the broadcaster’s commercial airtime.

The latest Maltesers push centred on “women from different groups in society who you don’t often see or hear from” said Michele Oliver, marketing VP at Mars. “We’re telling their stories to help combat perceived stereotypes and celebrate our similarities.”

Michael Jones, creative director at AMV BBDO, said many women, including those aged 60 and over, were “not only misrepresented, they’re often completely ignored by advertisers, which is crazy. We met so many entertaining women and heard so many funny, outrageous stories. We were inspired.”