WWTT? Super Bowl Ad Illustrates Snickers’ Plan to Fix the World

This year, Feb. 2 wasn’t just Groundhog Day — it was also Super Bowl LIV. With the cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad clocking in at $5.6 million, stakes were high, as usual, and ads ran the gamut from quirky to nostalgic, with some political and heart string-pulling ads debuted as well.

This year, Feb. 2 wasn’t just Groundhog Day — it was also Super Bowl LIV, and while we did get to see the furry critter and Bill Murray team up again in a Jeep ad, there was more than cute rodents and amusing gimmicks during the Big Game’s commercials. With the cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad clocking in at $5.6 million, stakes were high, as usual, and ads ran the gamut from quirky to nostalgic, with some political and heart string-pulling ads debuted as well.

One of the standout Super Bowl ads of the evening was Snickers’ and BBDO’s “#SnickersFixTheWorld” campaign, which illustrates how the candy maker plans to fix the world. The ad, which loosely spoofs Coca-Cola’s 1971 “Hilltop” commercial (you know the one, where you’d “like to buy the world a Coke, and keep it company.”) provided its own weird twist on a community coming together and singing.

https://youtu.be/SLAV4LYO-yU

“SnickersFixtheWorld,” which launched with a 30-second version as its Super Bowl ad, is the latest evolution of  Snickers’ award-winning “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” campaign. And considering the number of challenges faced globally today, ranging from the Coronavirus to climate change, immigration issues and presidential impeachment, the idea of using chocolate to calm down the world does offer some comic relief. If only it was that easy.

Snickers Brand Director Josh Olken commented:

“Since the first Super Bowl spot 10 years ago, we’ve shown the power of Snickers to satisfy when you’re out of sorts. Our attempt to ‘fix the world’ is a new angle, and our biggest yet: When the world itself is out of sorts, maybe it just needs a Snickers.”

The Super Bowl ad , while maybe not as quirky as others (I’m looking at you, Bryan Cranston and Mountain Dew), definitely resonated with other advertising professionals, especially Super Clio jurors who selected the Snickers ad as the Super Clio winner for 2020.

Super Clio juror Jaime Robinson, Co-Founder & CCO of Joan Creative commented:

“It was a lively and engaging discussion and we talked at length about idea, execution, and the very specific media event that is the Super Bowl. In the end, we loved Snickers for being so in-tune with the world as it is right now, for being a fresh idea that re-frames a longstanding campaign, and for having a really, really good laugh at the overly earnest ads of recent Super Bowls past. It seems sadvertising’s reign might just be coming to an end.”

But for Snickers, its Super Bowl ad was just the beginning. Following the Kansas City Chief’s win, Snickers placed the following print ad in the Kansas City Star, cheekily taking credit for the team’s first Super Bowl win in 50 years:

Snickers ad in Kansas City Star
Credit: Snickers/BBDO

Shifting from #SnickersFixtheWorld” to #SnickersFixedtheWorld, the brand has created two 15-second spots showcasing how throwing a huge Snickers into a hole in the earth has begun to fix things. Titled “Chancellor” and “Online Date,” both shorts feature actor Luis Guzman giving credit to Snickers for the wins.

https://youtu.be/iSigOPo1v00

It will be interesting to see where else Snickers takes the #SnickersFixtheWorld” campaign — what other issues the candy maker will tackle, and what channels the campaign will spread to.

What do you think marketers? Did Snickers deserve the Super Clio, or was there a more worthy Super Bowl ad? Let me know in the comments below.

SEO Best Practices: Hashtags or Keywords?

With the popularity and increasing influence of social media, marketers are rushing to select or create just the right hashtags to add to their social media posts. Hashtags, although useful, are not the same as the venerable search keywords and should not be confused with each other or, so to speak, concatenated in the best SEO marketing strategy.

With the popularity and increasing influence of social media, marketers are rushing to select or create just the right hashtags to add to their social media posts. Hashtags, although useful, are not the same as the venerable search keywords and should not be confused with each other or, so to speak, concatenated in SEO best practices marketing strategy.

Each has its own place. It is my own contrarian view that the marketer has more control over the interpretation of a keyword than a hashtag. The immediacy of the hashtag creates areas of unexpected ambiguity. In this article, my recommendation is that marketers should take care in how they select and use hashtags in SEO best practices.

When to Use a Hashtag

Hashtags should be treated as ephemeral in the same vein as marketing slogans. Because they are short and often require context for clarification of their meaning, they do not have staying power.

You might say: “What about #metoo or #neveragain?” Both have huge current social significance and have garnered tremendous support for the movements they represent. Many thousands have tagged social media posts or searched social media sites for posts tagged with #metoo or #neveragain. These hashtags have been very useful in providing a vehicle for social engagement. These are examples of hashtags used exceptionally well.

However, in 10 years, will people remember what these were and what they represented? It is hoped that they represent more than just a moment in time. These are powerful examples, and few marketing programs have been able to develop hashtags that have the kind of market power that these represent. Most are barely memorable even in the moment.

Keywords, when used in site content, represent blocks of language that are more universal and not as temporal. Keywords are seldom freighted with the social baggage created by their use in social media. They are easily clarified and amplified; therefore, it is my contention that in site content and meta data keywords are preferential. This does not suggest totally avoiding hashtags in site content, but use them in conjunction with keywords to carry the main meaning.

The Law of Unforeseen Consequences

Because the social media platforms were not all launched at the same time, most individuals and organizations do not have consistent nomenclature across all platforms. This can create some startling results when hashtags enter the mix.

I am an avid sports fan, and have refereed multiple high school and collegiate events over the years. Currently, my fan fixation is the University of North Carolina’s baseball team (basketball season is over, so). The team is known as the “Diamond Heels,” a nice play on baseball’s diamond and the Tarheels. Fans can follow games and get up-to-date information on Twitter @DiamondHeels. There are also official Facebook and Instagram accounts.

One day, I popped into Instagram and did a quick search for #diamondheels. Lo and behold, there were many baseball images tagged @diamondheels, but they were intermixed with some that were not suitable for office viewing. This is the law of unforeseen consequences at work.

Social media is consumer-generated media where everyday individuals create the message. I doubt the baseball team wants its brand side-by-side with some of these images, but fans placed it there by their use of the seemingly innocuous hashtag #diamondheels. That’s because hashtags are not restricted in their use and unforeseen and unseemly juxtapositions will occur.

To prevent such occurrences, marketers must aggressively research and promote the hashtags they want to see used. In selecting hashtags, marketers need to consider just how and where they might encounter the law of unforeseen consequences and try to limit its impact.

The One Thing to Learn From Donald Trump

Some weeks I have the time to obsess over a new marketing strategy or the possibilities of the year ahead. Other weeks my interests are more scattered. This has been the latter kind of week, but that doesn’t mean the world runs out of interesting marketing! Here are four quick ideas I’ve been mulling over while winter’s settling in over the Northeast.

Some weeks I have the time to obsess over a new marketing strategy or the possibilities of the year ahead. Other weeks my interests are more scattered. This has been the latter kind of week, but that doesn’t mean the world runs out of interesting marketing! Here are four quick ideas I’ve been mulling over while winter’s settling in over the Northeast.

Donald-Trump-Make-America-Great-Again-TFPP
On Twitter that’s #MakeAmericaGreatAgain.

1.The One Thing You Should Learn From Donald Trump
In an interview with CNN, Tea Party activist Scottie Hughes pinpointed the one thing Donald Trump and Sarah Palin could teach almost every marketer: How to reduce complicated issues to hashtags.

Said Hughes: “[Palin] has these great catchphrases, these great catchlines, these great hashtags that trend. And that’s something that Mr. Trump is good at as well — sitting there and taking a large issue and putting it down to just a key phrase that people repeat days after the statement is made.”

What complex idea should you simplify to a hashtag? #MarketingMatters.

2. Discrimination Costs Talent, Sometimes the Best Talent
I was watching a show about the history of Captain America, and they brought up that a lot of the guys in comics were Jewish kids who couldn’t find “legitimate” work in the Madison Avenue ad agencies because they were Jewish. This includes Jack Kirby, perhaps the most talented action illustrator America’s ever seen. Could his talents have saved brands? Absolutely.

The "Kirby Hand," one of Jack Kirby's trademark action panels.
The “Kirby Hand,” one of Jack Kirby’s trademark action panels.

This blows my mind, but you find stories like it all over history. Forget fairness for a moment. At some point, everything becomes a number game. If you have access to a million people, you’ll probably find a 1-in-a-million talent. If you have access to 2 million, you’ll probably find a 1-in-2-million talent. If you have access to 10 million, etc.

If you cut Jewish people, or black, or women, or Indian, or Muslim or Latino or any other large group out of the talent pool for non-talent reasons, you’re just reducing your chances of finding geniuses.

Not to mention, you’re being a prick.

3. A Too-Perfect Metaphor for Marketing
There’s a riddle going around Facebook: There are 10 fish in a tank. Two drown, four swim away, three die. How many are left?

fujzosdcc6cvdmvdugnsThe answer is, all of them. They’re all still in the tank.

This is a great way to think about the customers and prospects who got away. Whether they stopped responding to your marketing or went to a competitor, those customers are still in the tank with you, ready to be won back.

It’s still an unfortunately accurate metaphor when it comes to the dead fish. We still get marketing mail for our apartment’s previous owner, who died before we moved in 4 years ago.

Don’t forget to scoop the dead fish out of your lists.

4. Totally Tasteless Marketing for a Tasteless Age
And finally after the way January’s gone for musicians, I am relieved and surprised to have never seen an ad like this:

“Cole … Lemmy … Bowie … Fry …
Eddie Van Halen US Tour 2016: See him while he’s still alive!”
–Ticketmaster

But seriously:

SandmantoDeath
The Sandman and his sister Death trademark DC Comics.