Snickers ad not effectively adapted to Indian context

Based on global campaign ‘You’re not you when you are hungry’, the Indian adaption needed little more thought, say creative honchos

e4m by Twishy
Published: Jan 4, 2013 7:57 PM  | 4 min read
Snickers ad not effectively adapted to Indian context

Snickers, a chocolate brand of Mars International India, recently launched its new television campaign featuring Rekha and Urmila Matondkar. It is an adaptation of the award-winning global campaign ‘You’re not you when you are hungry’ and is based on the concept that hunger not only makes a person weak and tired, but also makes him/her irritable, angry and unable to concentrate.

Conceptualised by RK Swamy BBDO, the new TVC features iconic diva Rekha in her first ever television campaign. It is directed by Bollywood director Imtiaz Ali. The TVC is present across 56 television channels and nine languages. The diva portrays the hunger state and joins the list of international celebrities including Betty White, Joe Pesci, Aretha Franklin, Liza Minnelli and Joan Collins. This concept has run in 56 countries with local celebrities.

The TVC shows four boys who are going in a car to play cricket. As they exchange conversations about the sport, they are interrupted by an annoyed woman’s voice, which is that of Rekha. The fact is that the boy is hungry and thus, starts behaving like a diva.  Hence, the tagline ‘Kyunki hunger acche acchon ko badal deta hai’. So, he eats the Snickers bar on his friend’s suggestion and comes back to being himself.  Later, when they reach the cricket ground, the driver transforms to Urmila because he is hungry and hence, starts throwing tantrums. So the boys take out one more Snickers for him. The theme of the ad is that you are not yourself when you are hungry.

Speaking on the launch of the new TVC, MV Natarajan, Managing Director, Mars International India, Chocolate Business said, “We, at Mars International India, are thrilled to launch the new campaign for our chocolate brand Snickers. The campaign was conceptualised while keeping in mind our award-winning global campaign ‘You’re not you when you’re hungry’. What the commercial is trying to communicate is that hunger can drastically change your personality. It’s saying that when you’re hungry you’re not on your game and that Snickers is the bar of substance that sorts you out to be yourself. The campaign has enjoyed huge success internationally and we are optimistic that we will get positive response in India too.”

Navneet Virk, Senior Partner-Creative, RK Swamy BBDO said, “In a country where every other ad features a celebrity, we had to make sure we had a list of ‘never- before’ 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.”

Experts speak
The creative fraternity feels that the insight is good and appreciated globally also but it should have been framed in a more Indian manner.

Ashish Chakravarty, Creative Chief – North, McCann World Group feels that internationally, it is quiet a big campaign where they have used Liza Minnelli, Joan Collins and others. He said, “This idea is very popular and the word diva is used in a slightly derogatory and fun manner in the global campaign. I don’t know if that association is relevant for India. I think little thought should have been given while adapting it into the Indian context. I am not sure whether people will get the idea in India.”

According to him, getting Rekha on board will surely get noticed and the campaign will attract people.

Mahesh Parab, Executive Creative Director, DDB Mudra Delhi said, “It’s the replica of the famous international commercial, ‘You’re not you when you are hungry’.  The insight is nice. Hunger makes us grumpy, irritable and angry. It’s a really surprise for viewers to see Rekha in the commercial. I think she fits well into her role.”

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