Snickers: You’re not you when you’re hungry.

Snickers’ is the world’s biggest chocolate bar, and in many of its markets the most loved. But this success has been built upon individual markets developing their own marketing materials.

The following Add campaign established Snickers as a chocolate bar that satisfies hunger. They have positioned themselves as a solution for being hungry. The campaign worked on a universal assumption, namely that when you’re hungry your mood and your abilities change. When people are hungry, they’re actually not themselves and their role in the group is threatened. As a proper, nut-filled bar, Snickers can sort out the hunger and restore your role in the pack. The campaign continues to run across social, television, retail, print and is one of the most successful global campaigns that was able to be stretched across 40 markets and drive real business results.

Different market communication Tools adopted by Snickers were.

Print advertising: In their print ads, Snickers focused on showing regular, every day people doing things that were uncharacteristic for the activity they were performing. The ad below shows individuals that are unable to focus on the task at hand. These normal activities have become difficult and unmanageable because they’re hungry.



Television advertising:  Many of us have seen the Snickers ads featuring  Betty White and Joe Pesci portraying individuals who are, again, acting uncharacteristically because they are hungry. This idea furthers the central message of the campaign.

But, did it work?

According to the 2011 Effie Awards, in the first three months of the campaign, Snickers saw global growth. In the United States alone sales volume increased 8% and single sales rose by 13.4%.

Snickers first started with an idea that was central to their core values and then they tailored each message to the medium they needed.

What other campaigns have you seen that impact you?

Authors:  Borris Dsouza & Hernan


13 thoughts on “Snickers: You’re not you when you’re hungry.

  1. Great Post Guys! I like the ads cos they’re funny. It hasn’t made me want to buy a snickers bar though. The TV ads stand out in mind, can’t remember seeing any of the print ads. AAMIs ad with Rhonda & Ketut was another funny one that I remember, but then I have AAMI insurance & any email notification I got featured Rhonda & Ketut. I bought tickets to the tennis at Kooyong through AAMI & you could have your photo taken with Ketut on the day! Their campaign was massive! We got AAMI branded merchandise (Bag, hat & seat cushion) & a whole lot of crap for “team Ketut” & “Team Trent” so you could vote online, for who Rhonda ended up with! I’m not that kind of fan so no vote & no photo. But there were plenty of people who lined up to get their photo taken. Vouchers & product samples were good. A good day all round as I got cheap tickets to the Mens Final for the Kooyong Classic.


  2. I agree with the above comment. I recall the television commercial because it was quite humorous and entertaining but it wouldn’t make me go out and buy a Snickers simply because I don’t like the taste. Even though I don’t buy Snickers, their marketing strategy as had an affect on me as when I think if Snickers I automatically think of the commercial and their slogan ‘Your not you when you’re hungry’.

    One of their competitors would have to be Mars Bar who have taken a different approach which I don’t think has been as successful. They are moving out of the energy space into a more creative direction. They ditched their original motto ‘A Mars a day, helps you work rest and play’ for ‘Put play in your day’ to inject more fun and lightheartedness into the brand. They launched this campaign with a fashion show commercial, offering up a humorous approach.


  3. The challenge was that people simply weren’t thinking about buying Snickers when out and about. Snickers needed to remind people why and most importantly when they can enjoy a Snickers. Snickers would firmly place the blame for these moments at hunger’s door, positioning Snickers as the hunger-busting solution to make sure you stay on top of your game. The Big Idea would make Snickers own these moments, so that every time someone is not feeling themselves they reach for a Snickers.TV ad explained this well, but let’s face it, you’re probably not having one of these moments when you’re watching TV; they’re much more likely to happen when you’re out with your mates, commuting or stuck in work. Media insight was that Snickers had to own and badge those “You’re not you when you’re hungry” moments when people were in the vicinity of a chocolate bar and the instant fix of a Snickers.


  4. A bit off topic here but after seeing these ads, I have bought a few snickers to try to cheer up my partner.

    If she is having a bad day I give her the snickers and tell her she’s not her when she’s hungry. We laugh and things are better! I guess it could be another marketing technique of getting people to recreate scenes in life?


  5. I really like the snickers ad and even use their tag line when I am a little grumpy and hungry. But like others I don’t recall buying one to resolve my hunger.

    The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) ads have been mentioned previously for the fear factor, however their most recent campaign has had an impact on my driving behaviour. In one of their current ads it shows a little boy in the back seat and his dad in the front seat – the little boy is a puppet and copies each of the actions of his father. The tag line is “what sort of driver are you raising.”

    With a young child in my car, I have changed my behaviour. If another driver cuts me off, in the past I may have made a comment under my breath, but now I say nothing and think to myself “what sort of driver am I raising.” I certainly don’t want to raise an aggressive driver and this ad always pops into my head if I get annoyed or frustrated.

    But this ad may not be effective for everyone. I think it works on me for a few reasons:
    – Relevant – I have a young child and so it is relevant at this point in my life
    – Values – I am conscious of raising a little person who is not angry or aggressive
    – Behaviour change – it is relatively easy to change my behaviour and does not require me to do anything extra


  6. I enjoyed reading your post and the comments. I think these types of advertising is raising brand awareness. And although it won’t work on everyone, it will resonate with many. The one that comes to mind for me is the Air New Zealand Safety Demonstration Videos. The one they put together for Lord of Rings was excellent! And I think it achieved what it was meant to – people actually watched the safety video before their flight when most of the time people have their noise buried in their iPad.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the Snickers advertising concept- perhaps because it reminds me of myself when I’m hungry (a bit grumpy!). I also like that they have tailored the concept for the different audiences- Betty White is a bit of a U.S. treasure who is well loved and suits the U.S. market. On the other hand in the Aus market they’ve used Ray Meagher and his colourful Aussie sayings. Whilst we all know Snickers is a global brand I think consumers are typically quite loyal to their country and appreciate the close attention to detail in the ads to reflect the specifics of that country’s culture. After all we’ve all seen ads that have been played in our market which have clearly been developed for another market (often US) and I doubt they are very successful at compelling consumers to buy the product or like the brand, albeit they would be a cheap avenue for the brand given it is a ready made ad.


  8. Good post! I like the ads because they make me smile. The message is very clear about the product being advertised, which is what a good ad should do. Much as I enjoyed watching the ads, they haven’t made me want to buy the snickers, but that’s because I’m not a chocaholic. If I were one the ad would have been the perfect excuse to go out and buy some!


  9. Great read …. Following most of the post, I enjoy Snickers simple concept and could relate to the feeling of not being myself when hunger sets in. However, the commercial did not encourage me to purchase. Though figures presented indicated sales growth was achieved. Use of humour and punch line revealed in the first showing, I would not be turned off viewing a few times. However, appreciate that overall campaign timeframe would be limited in comparison to the Mars commercial.


  10. I think Snickers made a perfect example of good IMC here. They communicate consistent and coherent messages across different media and markets, which is relevant for markets worldwide. The campaign already lasts since 2010, which appears to be effective in increasing sales of Snickers. They designed a moment and feeling when you need to eat a Snickers which they communicate in a humerous way . The key to this succesful marketing campaign I think is that Snickers had a unique and good insight in the mood of its consumers and when they would like/have a need to eat a Snickers.


  11. I have always thought the adds where very funny!! Especially the Betty White one!

    I think their marketing strategy has worked well in turns of bringing attention to the brand through funny commercials. However in terms of Snickers providing a a solution to hunger – that is very debatable.

    As a consumer of the chocolate, i would purchase because of the attention it has created and not on the premise of it adverts – that is helps with hunger. Maybe for others but not me. Adverts great, truthfulness of message – its a no!



  13. Pingback: ‘Hangry’- the science behind the mood when you’re craving food – SANTE SCIENCE BLOG

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s