'It's more than a parody of Hilltop' – inside Snickers' ‘world fixing’ Super Bowl epic
Snickers is celebrating a decade of the humorous ‘You’re Not You’ campaign – made famous by Betty White getting tackled – with a new direction aimed at fixing the world for the Super Bowl. The Drum explores how the 'Hilltop'-inspired ad got made.
Luis Guzman for Snickers
The spot, ‘Snickers Fixes the World’, declares that “the world is out-of-sorts” and presents an absurd solution to fix it. Featuring s a catchy original song, the work was created by BBDO New York and AMV BBDO.
It highlights relatable signs of a world that’s clearly not itself: grown-ups are riding scooters, babies are being named after produce, devices listen to your conversations and parents text dirty pics.
As a singing crowd gathers, ala Coca-Cola's 1971 Super Bowl ad, a huge Snickers bar is dropped into a hole in the ground by helicopter in a grand attempt to fix the world. The ad ends with actor Luis Guzman noting the unorthodox solution is working as it swallows two self-important selfie stick holders.
A longform version of ‘Fix the World’ also features quick appearances from Miranda Cosgrove, Bill Walton and Charlotte Flair.
“We have a great campaign in ‘You’re Not You’,” said Josh Olken, brand director for Snickers. “We’ve had it for 10 years and we want to celebrate 10 years of iconic work in that space.
"You’re always thinking about how to do it new and better, and that was a bit of the prompt this year.”
Olken said delivering the Snickers promise of "satisfaction" to consumers pushed the brand to ask "how do we satisfy in a bigger way?"
That led the brand down the path of going big, literally, and creating the Guinness World Record-breaking largest chocolate nut bar. It weighed 4,728 pounds.
Behind the scenes
Olken said the filming of the spot was "interesting", given the amount of stories that were interwoven into the story.
“What that means is you have to tell each one of these stories super fast and telegraphically," he explained. "We spent a lot of time as we were developing the creative figuring out what were the best things that people would identify, ultimately getting to things like people riding scooters, texting dirty pictures – the kinds of things that are just out there in the ether that we thought everyone would be able to relate to across a really broad audience.
"Then, [we asked] how you translate each one of those into a very succinct visual and verbal joke, so everyone gets it."
While the action may remind some of the iconic Coca-Cola ‘Hilltop’ commercial, Olken said it "was not intended to be a specific parody" of that spot.
“People keep coming back to Hilltop because that’s the most direct analogy," he said. "But there’s lots of those out there – people coming together and singing together. We thought singing just brought that epic-ness to it, but we just tried to undercut it at every moment.
The catchy tune that parodies life’s little annoyances came from the We Are Walker sound house. It's the song that drives the creative, rather than the other way round.
“We love the song," said Olken. "We’d been talking to the creatives about the song all along, about what that would be like. We worked with a great song house to bring it to life…It’s a bit of an earworm.
“I don’t think we do enough songs and the aural element. You think about some of the great marketing campaigns of the past, and maybe some of the jingles from yesteryear are not so relevant these days, but I bet everyone can still sing you the jingles they grew up with, because they have a way of sticking with you and a different way of delivering humor."
Olken added the inclusion of an original song has opened up new ways of telling the brand story from a media perspective: Snickers will release a radio version within a few weeks of the Super Bowl to remind fans of what they saw and extend the campaign.
A TikTok campaign will also push the campaign on social media.
Not celebrity driven
The team loved Guzman’s presence and delivery of his line, but the brand admits that this campaign isn’t driven by celebrity, like many of the previous spots in its 10-year campaign. Veteran spokespeople include Roseanne Barr, Joan Collins, Mr Bean, and Elton John, as well as White.
“Part of what we wanted to do was tell the stories that people could connect to on an everyday level. So, it’s every bit as much about the folks you see upfront in that spot that are kind of everymen…and Luis helps us bring it home at the end,” said Olken.
After the game, Snickers made an ad for Kansas City stating that it had already fixed the world for the city.
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