Snickers: Full of Brilliance, Peanuts & Caramel

Certain brands carry expectations, good or bad, associated with their advertising.  We, as consumers, can count on the brand to display its distinguished character, almost like an essence (brand essence? hmm, I wonder if that’s a thing).  Nike ads are inspirational, Old Spice is engaging, Coors confuses us, and over the past decade McDonald’s are just lame.  Snickers, though, has been consistently money when it comes to laugh-out-loud TV spots, dating back to the “Chefs” (above) and “Batman” (below) classics from the mid-90s.  The “world’s biggest selling candy bar” clearly knows more than peanuts.

What’s so great about nougat? Keeping with the strategy of absurd humor in candy ads – including the Scotch Korean from Starburst and the Skittles rainbow eating giraffe – Snickers, along with agency BBDO (both New York & London), has provided us with enough hunger-busting nuttiness to spoil our dinner.  The beginning of our time line may have set the standard for laughs with “Chefs” and “Batman,” but it’s recently where perhaps the brand’s most impressive feat has come.  You probably know where this is going, right?  Betty White.  Oh, the power of the Super Bowl (and great creative).  We were reminded of the longtime funny gal on Super Sunday, and all of the sudden the former Golden Girl was a hot ticket.  She landed a hosting gig on SNL and a starring role in a sitcom.  All thanks to a candy bar?  It’s hard to say this is causation over correlation,  however in my unscientific opinion and for the sake of this post, this senior citizen career revival will be filed under the latter.

Of course, it hasn’t been all roses and chocolate for our subjects.  First, consider the heat that Mars and Omincom (BBDO parent co.) took for two previous ads – one from 2007 during the Super Bowl – which were accused of being homophobic.  No matter if you saw it as derogatory or just plain lazy, it was forgettable work.  Also prior to the White spot, Snickers unleashed a bevy of punny little phrases in print ads, TV spots and on billboards.  In big cities like New York they were everywhere, and while some were clever (Patrick Chewing), others downright groan-worthy (Pledge your nutlegience? Uh, no.).  Whether you snickered (sorry) or not, I applaud the campaign.  A rather simple idea, met with mixed reviews, grabbed a lot of attention.  Even a few parodies popped up, and though I understand no one wants “Adolf Bitler” endorsing their product, sometimes you just gotta come out swinging for the competition.

With the creative we’ve seen from Snickers over the years, it’s no surprise the bar that “satisfies” is also the best selling.  As they continue to nurture that brand essence, consumers should stay, well, satisfied.  The people have spoken, on YouTube at least, and they (almost) know what they like: “I don’t know who handles advertising for Snickers, but they are seriously the best agency in the world. Their commercials are always funny, every time I see them.”  At least 37 people agree with user “tobycer” on that.  How’s that for pledging your nutlegience?

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