- Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, the chocolate candy marketed by Hershey, is running a playable ad on Snapchat that features a re-branded version of Pac-Man, the iconic video game from the 1980s. The ad will run for six weeks as an in-app game on Snapchat Discover, the platform's section for professionally produced content, according to a press release made available to Mobile Marketer.
- The Reese's game replaces Pac-Man with a cartoon depiction of a peanut butter cup that gobbles up Reese's Pieces while racing through a maze and dodging miniature candies that resemble the ghosts from the original video game. The game uses Snapchat's new Immersive Mode for more intuitive gameplay.
- The Snapchat promotion follows a TV run for Reese's Pieces Peanut Butter Cups, which fill classic Reese's with the candy-coated Reese's Pieces product.
Reese's Pac-Man homage is a clever way to build on the success of a campaign through gamification. The TV commercial showed a peanut butter cup gobbling up Reese's Pieces in a way that clearly emulated the original "Pac-Man." The full branded game, which can also be played in a web browser, shows Reese's wants to reach a young audience of consumers via Snapchat and ahead of the Halloween candy-buying surge.
Snapchat's audience of 173 million mostly consists of younger users who are watching traditional channels like TV less in favor of their digital screens. Fifty-nine percent of 12- to 17-year-olds and 68% of 18- to 24-year-olds use Snapchat at least once a month every month during the year, according to eMarketer. One difficulty in marketing on Snapchat is getting users to engage with ads given that most of them are short — videos run 10 seconds or less — and ephemeral, disappearing after 24 hours. Mobile games, however, can have high engagement and return rates as users get hooked on a fun activity. Reese's should have no trouble luring interest here given what an arcade staple Pac-Man is.
For Reese's, it's also important to reach parents — particularly mothers — who are more likely to make the buying decisions in a household around Halloween. Women play mobile games more frequently than males in the U.S., eMarketer said in a separate report. Sixty percent of female respondents said they played mobile games on a daily basis, compared with less than half of males. Another survey by marketing research firm AudienceProject asked people to name three apps they could not live without. The result should be encouraging to candy marketers like Reese's, as 6% of women said the Candy Crush Saga was a must-have app, whereas games were completely absent from the list of essential apps for men.