Snickers Campaign Draws Attention to NYC Design Flaws
The chocolate bar brand extends campaign by identifying urban design mistakes throughout New York City
Iconic candy bar Snickers placed miniature posters throughout New York City (Brooklyn included) in its new guerrilla marketing campaign, highlighting practical errors in design and construction.
Carrying the tagline “You Make Mistakes When You’re Hungry,” they adorned building walls, walkways and doors that have been rendered dysfunctional due to oxymoronic signage and absent minded structural errors. The stickers, which feature the recognized word mark and a hero shot of a halved candy bar, are punctuated with the hashtag #hungrymistakes encouraging users to share their own examples of famished foolery.
The extension of the brand’s long-running “Hungry” campaign was developed by BBDO and is one in a series of attempts to satirize everyday hunger-induced mistakes. The recent campaign developments contribute to the increasingly snarky brand voice that has been successful across a range of online channels including brand-sponsored YouTube content featuring hangry vloggers.
The most recent stunt hit the web as a series of photo-documented scenes throughout the city and featured images of structural blunders such as backward handrails and mixed-message signs. These signs are known in the architectural industry as Thomassons—a term coined in 1985 by Japanese-artist Akasegawa Genpei—have come to describe urban leftovers and are revered as pieces of art by many.
Online culture magazine Animal New York called the out-of-home activation an illegal form of guerilla marketing and confirmed with the MTA that the effort was in fact vandalism.
Though the agency in charge has since stated that the stickers were posted for photography-purposes only and were designed for easy removal, it sheds light on an increasingly high standard of social responsibility by which brands must abide.
The campaign strategy itself demonstrates the increase of mixed-channel advertising where an out-of-home campaign is used explicitly to generate digital engagement and online sharing. As the race to generate viral content heightens, brands will to push the envelope of provocation from both tactical and substantial measures leaving consumers in charge of monitoring what is acceptable marketing and what is truly destructive.
Photo credit: BBDO NY