BBDO New York’s live commercial for Snickers on last night’s Super Bowl was certainly the most conceptually pretzel-like spot on the game.
The live aspect was a central piece of the concept. But then the brand added a second self-referential layer, in which the high-stakes stunt goes wrong because the people making it are hungry (in keeping with the candy brand’s long-standing “You’re not you when you’re hungry” positioning).
That was a lot to absorb in 30 seconds, and it left many viewers wondering what they had just seen. Snickers then followed up with a faux apology on Twitter for the messed-up commercial, which extended the gag—but which some people didn’t seem to realize was a joke either.
A press release early Monday elaborated: “Hunger was the root cause of an off-the-field fumble during the Snickers live Super Bowl LI commercial last night as Adam Driver missed his mark to begin the spot. The mishap demonstrated once more the effects of what can happen when you’re hungry and off your game.”
Points for sticking with your idea!
This video below, however, should finally (maybe?) add some clarity, showing the ad’s star, Adam Driver, personally apologizing for the debacle. Or at least, trying to apologize. Or at least, fake-trying to apologize.
Extending it just one more level (because at this point, why not?), the brand also made a product offer to fans as part of the “apology.”
“Just as life often imitates art, hunger got the best of Adam Driver,” said Allison Miazga-Bedrick, Snickers brand director. “We recognize the Snickers Live Super Bowl Commercial did not go as planned, so we’re issuing a buy one get one free offer for regular Snickers or Snickers Crisper bars at retailers nationwide to help fans prevent hunger mishaps of their own.”
If all this doesn’t make it clear that the ad went exactly as planned, nothing will.
Well, maybe not exactly as planned. The live stunt, and its aftermath, didn’t get anywhere near the kind of gleeful response from viewers that the brand’s Super Bowl ads (including, most recently, “Brady Bunch” and “Marilyn”) typically do.
Still, as we said in reviewing the ad on Twitter last night, while the Mars brand might not have provoked quite the reaction it was hoping for, it was nice to see Snickers and BBDO trying something new like this.
Check out the live ad again here: