Snickers backs up campaign with fictitious Web site

Mars' Snicker brand is building a multifaceted experience for its latest installment of You?re Not You When Your Hungry campaign, bringing a fake online service to life. 

The Snicker brand is taking a page from modern editorial content by creating a real Web page for a fictional business featured in its latest ad campaign. The candy brand has launched a new TV spot and mobile ad campaign that advertises a fictitious service that gives customers football predictions from a psychic, supported by a real online site. 

?Many retailers are executing cohesive campaigns across all channels; however, this Snickers campaign is certainly unique and will break through the clutter of traditional advertising.? said Paul Dubie, manager at BRP. ?It will be interesting to see if it inspires consumers to click through to the online ordering site and actually purchase Mars products or if it annoys and alienates consumers.

"This campaign seems pretty risky for a company with a strong brand reputation," he said. 

Cool factor
Consumers enjoy the cool factor of being able to go to a Web site, after seeing it mentioned in their favorite television show or on a commercial. It makes the experience exciting. 

Many television shows and programming have taken similar strategies to create a fully immersive consumer experience, by making fictional online portals a reality in the hopes of making the content more real for viewers. Snickers is following suit with its latest segment of its continual hungry campaign. 

Mobile advertisements on Facebook and television spots advertise a fictional Web site in which users can get their football predictions by a psychic. Following the fake ad, Snickers then asks the questions ?thinking of taking this advice,? and responds with ?you?re off your game when you?re hungry.? 

The fictitious spot encourages consumers who are looking for answers to football-related questions such as ?which NFL teams will win this week,? to visit newagedpredictions.football. Users can actually visit the Web site, which mirrors the ads, but a popup from Snickers will appear. 

Snickers? popup reads, ?Thinking of taking this advice? You?re off your game when you?re hungry.? Users that click on the popup are then taken to Mars? Web site, which shows where you can purchase Snickers and other candies nearby and online such as Walmart, Jet or Amazon. 

Each retailer lists whether or not it is in stock, how many items are left if they are running low and the price. Shoppers can click buy now to buy it online from whichever retailer listed that they choose. 

Mission from Mars
Snickers and Mars are both known for their innovative campaigns that consumers enjoy interacting with. 

For instance, an executive from video game developer Electronic Arts at the Mobile Marketing Association's SM2 Innovation Summit 2015 claimed the path to being successful with mobile advertising is to reward consumers for engaging with marketing content and viewing ads. 

During the session ?How Brands Add Value In Mobile,? the executive detailed the company's successful partnership with Mars International to market its candy bar brand Snickers on the mobile application version of its popular football video game Madden. The executives attribute the success of the campaign to the brand's aversion to intrusive advertising, instead focusing on its rewards program in which users engage with the content for power-ups (see more). 

?Building multiple layers through different mediums is a great way to reach a broader audience based on individual preferences of how they absorb information or what type of message resonates with individuals,? Mr. Dubie said. ?Loyal customers are always looking for an easier way to interact, shop, and share their love for the brand and its products.

"This multilayered campaign is one way to send their customers on a treasure hunt with a surprise at the end," he said. "While I can appreciate the shock-value of the cheesy, fake New Age Football Predictions website that supports their message that consumers are ?off their game when they are hungry,? this could also be viewed by consumers as a wild goose chase.?