Thursday, August 11, 2011

Waterfalls of Caramel

Betty White stars in the first "You're not you when you're hungry" Snickers ad (2010).

Sometimes it may seem that I generally prefer older advertising campaigns and styles over contemporary ads. There's some truth to that accusation. However, there are some modern campaigns that I adore, which dramatically improve upon a brand's prior marketing while retaining a core product message. The current "You're not you when you're hungry" ads from Snickers is a prefect example.

Through out the '80s, Snickers distinguished their candy bar from the competition by emphasizing its capacities as a fulfilling snack food, which will provide a hunger fix and energy boost between meals. It was the proto-energy bar. Whereas other candy bars were mere sweets, Snickers were a helpful way to keep going through a hard day. This branding was summed up in the slogan "Snickers satisfies you."

Although somewhat boring, this branding concept continued into the early '90s with the "There's a hunger inside you" campaign which focused upon athletic excellence, especially in regards to the 1992 Olympic Games. By the mid-90s, Snickers started to lose brand focus, going for cheap laughs and gimmicky slogans that did nothing for creating a coherent product vision.

Snickers "Sings a song of satisfaction to the world."

Certainly, some of these ads are memorable, but is the product being promoted memorable? I don't think so. We remember the Kansas City "Chefs", not the candy bar.

So, I'm "really satisfied" with Snickers' return to its core messaging while maintaining a wacky sense of humor. Are you hungry? Eat a Snickers. Kissing mechanics or singing odes to a candy bar have nothing to do with this.

"Quick! Do something manly!!!"

Alright, lets take a look at some of the highlights and lowlights of Snickers ads over the years.

I hope that really satisfied you.


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