By Joey Martino
In 2010, Snickers released a commercial featuring Betty White as the star. This commercial started a line of similar ads that essentially “launched the global comeback” of the snickers bar.
In this ad, a group of men are playing football in muddy field. One of the people playing is Betty white and she gets laid out by a guy. When they return into the huddle one player tells the man that we see as Betty White, that he is playing like Betty White. At this point, a girl brings Betty a snickers and tells her to eat it because “you’re not you when you’re hungry.” After he eats the snickers he turns back into the man he is because snickers has fixed his hunger. The snickers advertising group has run with this campaign and it has made the company much more successful.
Semiotics play a huge factor in this ad. The whole ad, and ad campaign is centered on the snickers bar as a symbol. This candy bar symbolizes, in a sense, something that make a drastic change in your life. In this ad, a man is seen to be playing football at the level of Betty white, and his friends are getting on him for it. The snickers bar then changes his play and improves his performance. The snickers bar therefore acts as a tool to improve your performance. They are using this ad to improve the meaning of the snickers bar and giving it a very positive image to many americans. Any person watching this ad will want the same effect. Betty White also acts as a symbol in this ad. She is very iconic and almost everyone around the world knows her. She is an american symbol. By adding her to this commercial it widens the array of viewers that this ad appeals to.
This commercial appeals strongly to many different demographics. The football side of this commercial appeals to all viewers of the Super Bowl, but mostly to the younger male demographic, around ages 16-35. All the men playing football, getting dirty, and tackling hard interest the males of this age group. The big selling point that made this ad go viral was the addition of Betty White. Betty White, as a national symbol brings the appeal of the commercial to many people. Older generations see Betty White and get a nostalgic feeling. Younger generations recognize Betty White as someone they’ve seen many times, although they may not know as much about her. These generations still get their interest peak at the sight of Betty White.
Many people now use the premise of this ad campaign as a joke and in normal conversation.
Snickers is owned by Mars Inc. which produces many different types of candies and candy bars such as 3 musketeers, dove chocolate, milky way, and many more. Mars Inc. produces 60 different products from candies to dog foods. Frank Mars created the company in 1922. He soon added the milky way bar which made $800,000 in sales its first year released. In 2003 they spent $813 million on advertising worldwide. The year after the release of the “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” campaign, snickers sales lifted them past both trident and M&Ms to become the best selling candy in the global market, making $3.572 billion in sales. This number passed the previous year’s total by almost $300 million.
The ad agency BBDO handles the advertising for Snickers and are to thank of the largely successful ad campaign. The Mars company which makes around 32 billion a year in sales pays a heavy sum for advertising. At around $5 million for one Super Bowl ad, Mars has at least two ads in the super bowl each year, which guarantees spending at least $10 million on advertising for just one day of the year. In 2014, Mars Inc. spent $2.57 billion worldwide on advertising. In 2015, Mars Inc. spent $792 million in the U.S. alone for advertising. All the money spent on advertising for the Mars company is always made back and then some. The company paid around 4.6 million to have the Betty White ad be played at the Super Bowl, and in turn it boosted the snickers bar up to the top bought candy worldwide, where it still sits today.