When Snickers released its “Happy Birthday” teaser for BBDO New York’s Super Bowl ad for the brand, it gave us a pretty good idea of what to expect from the big game spot, given the formula of the agency’s ongoing “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” campaign. And if you guessed from the teaser that Marilyn Monroe would be played by Willem Dafoe, you were right.
While the teaser dealt with Monroe’s famous performance of “Happy Birthday” for John F. Kennedy, the 30-second “Marilyn” deals with a different iconic Marilyn moment: the skirt-billowing scene from The Seven Year Itch. The camera slowly pans up from the famous white dress to Dafoe’s face, who complains to the director about putting “a girl in heels over a subway grate.” While it fails to live up to the expectations set by last year’s “The Brady Bunch” spot, and Eugene Levy‘s cameo here feels a lot less natural than Steve Buscemi‘s in that ad, “Marilyn” is not without its charm, namely seeing Dafoe in a role he probably never thought he’d play.
“I have to admit playing a Hollywood bombshell is a new challenge for me,” Dafoe said in a statement. “But as a huge fan of Marilyn Monroe, I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to take a walk in her shoes and famous white dress.”
Super Bowl 50 is a celebration of this game’s amazing history, so we wanted to bring our A-game with a new ‘You’re Not You When You’re Hungry’ commercial that’s appropriately epic,” added Snickers brand director Allison Miazga-Bedrick. “It doesn’t get much bigger—or better—than combining one of the most legendary moments in movie history from the iconic Marilyn Monroe with some modern day icons of our own.”