​​​​​​     ​ 

Marketing Insight: Snickers position as the world’s best selling chocolate bar was under threat

From 2007 to 2009, Snickers was experiencing a sales growth decline and losing market share. It was lagging behind its competitors, threatening its position as the world’s best-selling chocolate bar.

The brand identified that the chocolate bar market was incredibly saturated and that the product was generally a snack purchased on impulse. Snickers’ brand awareness was high but, to stand out in a cluttered market, it needed to create brand fame to stay front of mind when people were reaching for a snack.

Mindful of this task, Snickers’ brand strategy centred around a new creative that would intrinsically link the chocolate bar with the moment that people hungrily seek out a snack. This was the birth of the now famous ‘You’re not you when you’re hungry’ tagline.

Media Innovation: standing out in a saturated market

There were four key actions within a new brand strategy that contributed to the overall success of Snickers’ ‘You’re not you when you’re hungry’ campaign.

  1. The campaign launched with a memorable creative, using a combination of humour and celebrities to convey the core message that people aren’t themselves when they’re hungry and a Snickers bar is the solution to get people back to their usual selves.
  2. The appearance of well-known faces within the creative, as well as endorsements via innovative social media posts, was tailored to the brand’s global audience. Snickers used local celebrities in each market to illustrate the ‘You’re not you when you’re hungry’ messaging.
  3. Snickers expanded from its traditionally young and male target audience to a larger, more diverse audience, with the intention of making the brand relatable to everyone that likes chocolate.
  4. To reach this new broader audience, the brand also updated its marketing mix to include TV, radio, print, OOH, cinema and social media.

Snickers launched the campaign in the US on the perfect stage to create fame: the 2010 Super Bowl. The ad starred Betty White starring as a struggling American Football star who gets tackled until she eats a Snickers and American Football star Bert Belasco returns to his normal self.

Accelerating Growth: global success

The ad was an immediate success, leading to 400 million incremental and unpaid media impressions with a media value equal to $28.6m – 11.4 times the initial investment. In the year after the campaign launched, global sales increased by 15.9% and market share grew in 56 of the 58 markets in which it ran.

Over the last decade the campaign has been awarded 47 Lions, spanning 14 categories and six countries, as well as every major effectiveness award, including two Effectiveness Lions, an IPA gold and global and local Effies and AME Awards. Almost 15 years on and ‘You’re not you when you’re hungry’ remains one of the most recognisable brand slogans.

For well established brands that have already achieved a certain level awareness, it is important to understand what the right objective is to achieve their business goals. In increasingly saturated markets, Snickers’ makes the case for the importance of brand fame in driving sales.

Talk To Us

Want to find out how you can accelerate growth? Drop us a line and our team will be in touch.