- Mars Wrigley Group's Snickers brand ran a campaign in France earlier this month that turned into a viral conversation on social media, according to materials shared with Marketing Dive. The company put Bounty candy bars in Snickers wrappers and watched to see how people would react online.
- Consumers took to Twitter and YouTube to share their reactions using the hashtag #SnickersGate. A day after the viral discussion, the brand revealed it was a hoax. The effort flipped its "You're not you when you're hungry" tagline into "We're not us when we're hungry."
- Snickers worked with its agency CLM BBDO on the stunt. The brand also released a playful video with the campaign that blamed a factory worker that is "spacey" when he's hungry for the Bounty mix-up.
For the past decade, Snickers core marketing message has been "You are not you when you're hungry," and this playful hoax allowed the brand to riff on this message in an attention-grabbing way.
The #SnickersGate prank put the brand at the forefront of consumer conversations by emulating the type of production problems that consumers complain about on social media. By letting the hashtag run for a day before commenting, the company built up engagement and then jumped to reveal the hoax message before it could get out of hand.
Snickers has applied its tagline to itself previously. Last summer, the brand ran a print ad that said, "Try new Espresso Snickers, jerk!" The BBDO New York campaign followed up the print ad with an online video, a phone bank and OOH efforts. Again, the brand played with the consequences of hunger to underline its brand message.
The Mars brand has been known for its experimental and entertaining marketing efforts surrounding this brand message. In its recent "Big Mood" campaign, Snickers adopted mobile-based technologies and e-gift card fulfillment to let users send their friends uplifting text messages with a coupon for a Snickers. The "Big Mood" program charged users $1.65 to send a personalized message and a gift card for a Snickers bar at any Walmart store.