NEW YORK The first work for Snickers since its controversial "man kiss" outing in this year's Super Bowl positions the chocolate bar as the centerpiece of a feast.
Four TV spots, from Omnicom Group's TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York, introduce a new tagline, "Feast," as well as five male characters—a king, a Viking, a Pilgrim, a shirtless Polynesian and toga-clad Roman—associated with feasting. The group is taking a road trip in a battered car. "Feast" replaces "Most satisfying," which was introduced at the end of 2006 via a singing guitar player who serenaded Snickers eaters.
During the Super Bowl, a spot depicting two men working on a car that wind up sharing a Snickers, as well as an inadvertent kiss and their violent reactions to said kiss, garnered criticism from gay rights groups. Mars subsequently pulled the spot, which was designed to run only during the game, from its associated Web site. On the site were additional videos of football players reacting, generally in a negative manner, to the image of two men kissing.
For this new campaign, which also includes interactive, in-store and print elements, Mars Snackfood U.S. was mindful of audience reaction. "We didn't mean to offend any folks with the Super Bowl work," said Ryan Bowling, a representative at the Hackettstown, N.J.-based based company. "Any ad campaign we do, we're mindful of the sensitivities of people."
In "Intro," the characters are introduced by having the Viking drive his battered car to various locales and picking them up, sometimes literally. The Pilgrim, for example, is physically lifted up from the table he is sitting at and carried to the waiting car. His protests are quieted when he is handed a Snickers.
In addition to the four TV commercials, 15 videos ranging in length from 25 seconds to two minutes were shot for the Snickers Web site. The videos show different aspects of the road trip, the final destination of which is never revealed. For example, if users click on the video selection at night, it shows the participants sleeping. Pictures of the group at random tourist attractions are also scattered throughout the site.
"The Super Bowl was just a spot, this is an entire campaign," said Gerry Graf, ecd, TBWA\C\D. "With all the controversy, we were just a little more careful in our humor without putting handcuffs on the creative."