Snickers ‘Hunger Bars’ Tasteless?

As part of their ongoing campaign to show the side effects of hunger in a humorous light, Snickers launched a new campaign highlighting some negative personality traits that result from an empty stomach. They’re calling out these traits in an obvious way by putting them right on the packaging. As both Tim Nudd’s Adweek article and PR Daily’s Kevin Allen note, the campaign is notably similar to Coke’s successful “Share a Coke” campaign.

But how do the two directly compare?

Watching the paid advertisement, Snickers’ strategy definitely goes for the humorous angle in its messaging. Coke, on the other hand, took a more sentimental approach.

I think Snickers’ take on this idea fits well within its company’s overall campaign messaging, since it typically takes a lighthearted approach.

However, I think there is a notable flaw in the way Snickers executes the idea of “sharing” the product with someone else as the focal point of a campaign: a generic adjective feels far less personal than someone’s name.

I am definitely someone who gets cranky when I’m hungry. However, if a friend handed me a Snickers printed with the word “cranky” on the wrapper in order to tell me so, I would probably be a little annoyed — with my friend and Snickers. I also would not really want to buy myself a Snickers that calls me cranky.

On the other hand, getting a Coke can with my name on it feels special. It feels personal. I feel connected to it, therefore I feel connected to the brand. Plus, as soon as I found a Coke with my name on it, I purchased it immediately.

Overall, the Snickers campaign doesn’t make me want to share, receive or buy the product, which is what it the campaign was initially designed to do. With that key element missing, the campaign falls short — of both its intended goals and as compared to Coke.

How do you think this Snickers campaign compares to similar ones? Does the message behind the Snickers campaign inspire you to connect with the brand?

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1 Response to Snickers ‘Hunger Bars’ Tasteless?

  1. Tyler Otremba says:

    I agree. I also find myself very cranky when I’m hungry and like they say in the commercials, “You’re not you when you’re hungry,” I’m not. However, when I am hungry I do not want to be told that I am cranky. I think handing me a Snickers bar that says cranky would help my hunger, it would still make me cranky. I think Coke’s more serious approach is appropriate. I love humor, but I also like something that is relatable, sentimental, or seems to incite change.

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