- Snickers is encouraging football fans to share moments when they've messed up as the Mars Wrigley brand gears up for NFL season kickoff Thursday, according to a news release.
- Starting Sept. 9, visitors to the new website snickersrookiemistakes.com can submit photos, videos or written accounts of their "rookie mistakes" — moments where they've made small but embarrassing errors — for the chance to earn a shoutout from current NFL players and Snickers. The confessionals will serve as a touching-off point for the chocolate bar maker to engage people throughout the regular season.
- One winner will receive a "SNICKERS Rookie Mistake of the Year" award as judged by a panel of NFL players and two tickets to Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles, while other noteworthy submissions will score NFL-themed prizes. Snickers is leaning into user-generated content to inform its football marketing as it looks to forge a deeper emotional connection with consumers this year.
Snickers is pushing consumers to share candid moments when they've made missteps as it builds out a larger NFL marketing platform. The Mars Wrigley brand, a mainstay sponsor of the league, worked with agency BBDO New York on "Rookie Mistake? Maybe You Just Need a SNICKERS," the latest in a long line of efforts that associate lapses in judgment with hunger pangs that could be alleviated by eating a candy bar.
The campaign places its chips on the idea that people will feel comfortable sharing their mistakes and potentially seeing those errors amplified on social media, where Snickers is running a #SNICKERSROOKIEMISTAKE hashtag. While the stories may be embarrassing, Snickers is trying to keep the tone light and the anecdotes relatively low stakes, like forgetting a phone loaded with game tickets after heading out to the stadium.
To promote "Rookie Mistake?," the marketer is also partnering with Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who will share examples of his own fumbles on and off the field as part of the campaign. In welcoming fans to submit their stories, Snickers aims to create a well of UGC it can continue to draw on throughout the regular season and tie into a contest that will see one winner nab Super Bowl LVI tickets.
The strategy marks a bit of a switch-up from recent Snickers NFL campaigns that have put the limelight on players. For the past two years, the chocolate bar maker ran a "Hungriest Player" program that saw exceptional performances on the field rewarded in the form of an iced-out chain necklace bearing the Snickers logo.
Putting a greater focus on fan engagement comes as sports marketers are preparing for another unusual season given ongoing COVID-19 concerns. NFL ratings were down 7% last year, according to Nielsen, while the highly contagious delta variant is raising the specter of further disruptions in the coming fall-winter period.