Snickers, the brand from the Mars Inc stable, came to India in the year 2004. September 2008 saw the television commercial launched in India which put forth its global positioning of being a snack, rather than a mere chocolate.
Soon after, a below-the-line activation was released, with the objective of bringing the ad's message on-ground, as well as to drive extensive sampling. The on-ground campaign was released in two phases by Candid Marketing, which won the pitch on the strength of its creative concept. The first phase was executed from August to October last year; the second phase took place in January and February this year.
Nidhi Kirpalani, general manager, brand communication, Candid Marketing, says, "The brand wanted to promote its above-the-line communication on-ground. The brief shared was to bring alive and create a special space for Snickers as a snack, and not just as a chocolate. The brand characteristics -- youthful, sporty and active -- were also to be highlighted during the BTL activation."
Candid Marketing designed a communication around the brand's tagline - 'Hunger Bajaye Char, toh Snickers Khol Yaar' (When hunger strikes at 4 o'clock, open a Snickers bar). Interestingly, as far as its communication is concerned, Snickers identifies only males between 16-24 years of age as its target audience. Candid was also told to limit its interaction to this TG.
In an extension of the TVC, the on-ground activation was also designed around football. In malls, a 15 ft goalpost was placed in the atrium for maximum visibility and a scenario of a penalty shootout was created. Some trained footballers were brought in to shoot the ball, while the goalkeepers were selected from the crowd itself, confining to the predefined TG. A clock was placed at the setup, which would strike 4 o' clock, whenever the goalkeeper was unsuccessful in saving the goal. The person was then given a sample of the chocolate and told, 'Tere Toh Chaar Baj Gaye Hain'.
Another activity executed in the malls was Dr Fullpetwala - The Hunger Expert's Bio Data. An artist, wearing big spectacles, carrying a stethoscope and a torch and accompanied by two pretty nurses, enacted the part of a doctor, who has done a study on hunger and the role of Snickers as the ultimate tool for satiation.
For the road show, a Snickers Kick Centre was created, wherein a branded float was fabricated with a goalpost in it. Instead of the TG playing the goalkeeper, this activity had a cut-out placed in front of the goalpost, while the TG had to score goals to earn themselves goodies such as sippers and jerseys.
In colleges and BPOs, banners were put up to invite participation for a game of Foosball. The activity had the foosball table and not the penalty shootout, because of space constraints.
Candid Marketing also conducted a consumer feedback study to check the effectiveness of the campaign. For that purpose, 30 people were called in from each city (all those who had participated in the campaign) to find out how much information on the brand they had retained. The activation touched around 8,000 people, while driving sampling of close to 20,000 Snickers bars.
Apart from facing the usual hurdles of executing an activation, such as attaining permissions and such, Kirpalani says that the one challenge the agency faced during the execution was, "to filter the TG to confine the activation to the predefined groups. We trained our staff on how to convey this in the right manner to the rest of the people, who wanted to participate. Lots of women also approached us during the activity, but it was all managed well".