AdStrat: What hunger can do to you

07 Jan,2013

Navneet Virk, Senior Partner-Creative, RK Swamy BBDO


Name of the Campaign/Ad: Snickers- ‘Hunger Acche Acchon ko Badal Deta hai’


The Brief: Launch the Snickers brand from Mars International India Pvt Ltd with the new communication.


Research insights: Part of the global Snickers ‘You’re not you when you’re hungry’ campaign, this ad delivers the message of Snickers being the ultimate hunger satisfier. The idea stems from the universal truth that we are not quite ourselves when we are hungry. And this story of transformation told with quiet exaggeration with the appearance of Rekha in her first ever ad and the comeback shot with Urmila Matondkar.


The thought process behind the creative: Navneet Virk, Senior Partner-Creative, RK Swamy BBDO added, “In a country where every other ad features a celebrity we had to make sure we had a list of never-befores … and the magic is in the concept. It allowed us to do that – to cast a celebrity never seen in an ad, and certainly not expected to be seen in an irreverent advert trying to sell a chocolate bar to hungry young guys! We wanted to make sure the ad is as unique as the taste of the Snickers bar itself.”


Media vehicles chosen: Television / Print / Radio


Key issues kept in mind while executing the ad: The film opens on a group of young lads en route to a cricket match. As they exchange banter about the sport, they are interrupted by an annoyed woman’s voice. Startled, they look back and see Rekha in the car with them. She goes on to chastise them about how their constant chatter is irritating, what it will take for them to shut up and she goes on to attack her fellow passenger with his stinky gloves. The driver asks if she’s gone mad, to which she mockingly responds that she has and continues with her ranting. That’s when one of the guys offers her a bar of Snickers. Why should I eat this, she asks as she grabs it. He tells her that when she’s hungry, she turns into a ‘heroine’. She bites in. Are you ok now, the friend turns and asks. In Rekha’s place is one of their friends, who has transformed back to his normal self. Ok, he says, nodding in relief.


We come back to see that the gang has reached the cricket ground and are rushing towards the field when they are interrupted by incessant honking. In place of the driver is Urmila Matondkar, throwing a tantrum and asking them whether she is their driver and then refuses to play with them. As the friends come up to offer another Snickers to their hungry friend, we see the packshot and line ‘Hungry? Grab A Snickers!’.


The treatment of the idea strikes fine balance between global idea and local connect with the context – to leverage our love for cricket but in a newer way, to leverage a Bollywood Indian-ness, and yet keep to Snickers’ tonality. The idea was to tell the story in a less ‘addy’ way…hence the choice of a film director like Imtiaz Ali.


What is the differentiating factor about the ad? Virk said, “Many many things are different about this ad. The idea is in itself quite unique – it’s simple but surprising. It’s different in the kind of celebrities we have casted. When every other ad we see features a celebrity, we had to make sure we brought in actors who have never been seen in ads before. And thanks to the concept itself, it allowed us to cast people you would not expect to see in an ad targeting young men. The other truth is that the story is not about the celebrities – it’s about the brand’s unique benefit.”


Client comment: Punyabrata Dashsharma, Brand Manager, Mars International India Pvt Ltd, “Our core proposition is that when you’re off your game, nothing sorts you out better than a bar of Snickers. And we had to say that in an Indian context, with communication that is simple and distinctive and clutter breaking.”


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