Snickers is the world's top-selling candy bar, and a key pillar of the Mars confectionery portfolio. According to research from Euromonitor, it overtook stablemate M&Ms as the world's best-selling confectionery product in 2012. Global retail sales are now around $4bn, almost half of that from the US, where it is the #1 impulse snack bar, and among the top five take-home brands. The product comes in several sizes, as well as in the form of ice cream bars and cones, and scoop ice cream. In a global confectionery industry that faces considerable challenges from consumer concerns over healthly eating, Snickers has enjoyed some degree of stability as a result of an enormously successful and adaptable marketing campaign. Agency BBDO first struck upon the "You're Not You When You're Hungry" concept in the US in 2010, and has gradually rolled it out globally. In its first year, the campaign was reported to have increased global sales of Snickers by almost 16% and increased share in 56 of the 58 markets in which it ran. In one of its most complex and inventive executions, BBDO negotiated a partnership in Australia between Snickers and retailer 7-Eleven, tied to social media. The "Hungerithm" campaign monitored the mood of Australian social media users by analysing thousands of post a minute. On the basis that "you're not you when you're hungry", the price of Snickers at 7-Eleven outlets was automatically reduced the angrier the internet became. That campaign won a multitude of awards at ad festivals in 2017. The Snickers bar was first introduced in the US in 1930, a follow-up to company founder Franklin Mars' successful Milky Way, launched seven years earlier. He named the product after his favourite horse. Following Frank Mars' death, his estranged son Forrest, who had already built a substantial business of his own in Europe, seized control of the US company, and began introducing its products into foreign markets for the first time. The Snickers bar was originally launched in the UK in 1968 under the name Marathon (supposedly to avoid any embarrassment caused by its similarity to the word "knickers"). The Marathon name was finally dropped in 1990. Dale Green is global brand director for Snickers. Greg Kent is regional brand director for Europe.
Capsule checked 19th May 2021
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Historical profile information for Snickers
Adbrands Daily Update 27th Nov 2019: "SnickersGate". BBDO's most ambitious gag to-date under the umbrella of Snickers' global "You're Not You When You're Hungry" campaign comes from France. Local outpost CLM BBDO conceived a complicated stunt whereby local Snickers bars were replaced with the same company's Bounty, but still inside the usual Snickers wrappers. They then waited for the inevitable social media backlash before unveiling a traditional commercial which explained the whole stunt as the result of a hungry production supervisor at the Snickers factory. It would be hard to get more meta than that. Is it just me, or do you get the feeling that agencies these days sometimes spend more time thinking about the final case-study and the possibility of collecting an award for being clever, than in making a good ad. The "You're Not You..." campaign has had some great moments, and can still turn out great ads like the Elton John one last year. But when it culminates in a stunt as complicated and self-referential as this, it might be time to come up with a new campaign.
Adbrands Social Media 31st Aug 2018: "Rap Battle". AMV BBDO secured what is arguably the biggest star yet to grace the long-running Snickers "You're Not You..." campaign. Better still, they persuaded the venerable Sir Reg to poke gentle fun at himself, while also getting down with a somewhat younger and very different generation of musical artists. Also featured are US rappers Boogie, Emarr Kuhomano and Monique Lawz as well as British-born Femi Nylander. In the accompanying release, EJ claims "Most people already know I've long been an advocate of hip-hop and that's why I wanted be a part of this." We're not sure who exactly those "most people" are; personally we think they had him at free Snickers.
Adbrands on Social Media 8th Mar 2018: Don't you just hate people who pronounce words the wrong way? BBDO New York delivers more inspired madness for Snickers. It's Almond. With an 'L'.
Adbrands Weekly Update 2nd Mar 2017: Ads of the Week: "Recovery Room". Here's BBDO New York's hilarious new spot for Snickers, depicting a medical disaster. This would be brilliant if it was your own phone involved. Somebody else's not so much. The "You're Not You When You're Hungry" creative concept clearly has plenty of miles left on the clock.
Adbrands Weekly Update 9th February 2017: Ads Of The Week: "LIVE Super Bowl Commercial". Here's another clever Super Bowl ad, one that may in fact have been a little too clever for its own good. Mars and BBDO NY made a big thing in advance of the Big Game that their Snickers ad with Adam Driver would be performed LIVE. That allowed the resulting spot (which we're guessing was actually pre-recorded) to make archly clever use of the long-running "When You're Hungry" slogan. In this case: "You Ruin Live Super Bowl Commercials When You're Hungry". It's post-modern to an extreme, so the subtlety of that conceit was probably lost on most of the viewing audience. But, hey, there's enough slapstick and violence to keep even the least sophisticated viewer happy.
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