BBDO New York Apologizes for Print Ad Calling Customers Jerks in Latest for Snickers

By Erik Oster 

Brand apologies are all the rage these days. No need to worry if you don’t have a brand crisis to address, you can always create your own!

For the latest in its ongoing “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” platform, BBDO New York launched a new online spot for Snickers apologizing for an ad of its own creation. The stunt began with print ads running last week, referring to readers as “jerk” while telling them to try Snickers Espresso.

In the new spot, a Snickers representative apologizes, while explaining that they were hungry, and therefore irritable (a nod to packaging reference different hunger symptoms) when they ran the offending print ad. “We’d like to let you know that we’re trying to make amends,” he says, as the ad cuts to a woman fielding angry customers from a call center.

An accompanying print ad apologizes to anyone offended by the ad, particularly a woman named Sarah who wrote an angry letter to the brand. The approach manages to find a novel take on the long-running “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” theme with a meta approach while parodying the recent onslaught of brand apologies. Plus, you have to admire the commitment to the idea to run the initial ad and wait a week for the follow-up explanation/apology.

CLIENT: Mars Chocolate North America
CAMPAIGN: Jerk, Apology

Josh Olken, Brand Director, SNICKERS® Brand
Michael Italia, Sr. Brand Manager, SNICKERS® Brand
Jess Donato, Sr. Associate Brand Manager, SNICKERS® Brand
Brooke Strong, Associate Brand Manager, SNICKERS® Brand

David Lubars, Chief Creative Officer, BBDO Worldwide
Greg Hahn, Chief Creative Officer, BBDO New York
Gianfranco Arena, Executive Creative Director
Peter Kain, Executive Creative Director
Bianca Guimares, Creative Director
Peter Alsante, Creative Director
David Rolfe, EVP, Head of Integrated Production
Amy Wertheimer, EVP, Group Executive Director
Kirsten Flanik, CEO & President, BBDO New York
Susannah Keller, EVP, Global Account Director
Lisa Piliguian, SVP, Account Director
Tani Corbacho, VP, Account Director
Danee Fields, Account Executive
Amy Orgel, Senior Project Manager
Paul Cisco, Business Manager
Annemarie Norris, SVP, Group Planning Director
Christina Stoddard, Planning Director
Dexter Blumenthal, Planner
Michael Schonfeld, Communications Planner

BBDO Studios: Production Agency
Bianca Guimares, Director
Peter Alsante, Director
Michael Gentile, Studio Lead
Andre Rowe, Studio Producer
Cris Hughes, Line Producer

No6: Editorial
Ryan Bukowski, Editor

Company 3: Color
Jamie Obradovich, Colorist

Heard City: Mix
Phil Loeb, Mixer