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Snickers' appetite for marketing risk

News, 28 February 2017

DANA POINT, CA: Snickers, the candy brand, draws on the "3Rs" of "reach", "relevancy" and "reaction" to help guide its marketing – but this group of principles is increasingly supplemented by another component, in the form of taking "risks".

Allison Miazga-Bedrick, North American Marketing Director of the Chocolate Filled Bar Brands Portfolio at Mars – the owner of Snickers – discussed this topic at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) 2017 Brand Masters Conference.

"At Mars, the '3Rs' are 'reach', 'relevancy' and 'reaction,'" she asserted. (For more details, read Warc's exclusive report: Beyond Super: How Mars markets Snickers.)

Drilling down into this subject, Miazga-Bedrick reminded the ANA delegates that Snickers is a truly mass-market brand which must engage consumers at scale. "You clearly need your broad reach of vehicles from an awareness perspective," she said.

"But it's also about relevancy – especially among people under 35 that are no longer watching as much TV. We need to get them where they're at."

Coupled with these two considerations is the ultimate indicator of marketing effectiveness: "We need to make sure they're buying Snickers," Miazga-Bedrick said.

A fourth "R", however, now occupies an important role in the Snickers playbook, too, as the brand consistently pursues some risks in its campaigns. "We allowed ourselves to take risks and try things," Miazga-Bedrick said.

Such a philosophy was in full effect at the recent Super Bowl showdown between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons, when Snickers shot its commercial live during a break in the big game.

In keeping with its long-running "You're not you when you're hungry" positioning, this real-time effort saw actor Adam Driver struggling to perform on an empty stomach.

This campaign has also been driving the other "3Rs" for Snickers since veteran actress Betty White starred as a tough-talking football player in a Super Bowl spot in 2010.

"We allowed ourselves to take risks and try things. And, in the beginning, we probably didn't test as much and get as many metrics. It was really about the creative," Miazga-Bedrick said.

"We did think smarter over time," she conceded. But, initially, "It was really just about taking risks and prioritising it."

Readers can download a free-to-access Warc report outlining how Snickers launched a new product—Snickers Crisper—in the US, and was able to grow sales and increase positive brand metrics.

Data sourced from Warc