Abid Hussain Barlaskar

Snickers plays with wrapper design yet again

The latest Snickers campaign features school students.

Hindi puns like Bhukkad, Laatsahab, Bheja Fry and Nautanki have replaced the brand name of Snickers on its packages in India in the past. The initiative, a global campaign for the brand, was introduced in India in 2017. Along with Hindi, the campaign has also diversified into other Indian languages. The latest campaign for Snickers speaks to school students, a specific pocket of consumers in its wider, young audience base. Apart from a long format digital film, the brand has also tweaked the message on the packaging. Launched on the eve of school board exams across the country, the latest iteration of the campaign puts exam stress in its crosshairs.

While it builds on Snickers' global brand proposition, 'You are not you when you’re hungry’, the latest campaign adds a new twist to it with ‘Exams can be stressful, don’t let hunger add to it’. The brand has launched limited edition packaging, featuring messages like ‘Do Well’, ‘Rock On’, and ‘Shine On’. It is interesting how the messages are of a transactional nature, like a greeting. The new campaign has been crafted by BBDO India. So can the bar be actually used to greet?

The film features characters who are actual student types in Indian classrooms – ‘the Topper’, who has revised the entire syllabus several times over, making everyone else nervous, ‘the Gambler’, who seems to have the indubitable insight into which questions will appear in this year’s question paper, or 'the Borderline Case' who aims for the passing marks. Also, Snickers' campaigns have so far featured college goers and older demographics. This is the first time we are seeing school students in a Snickers ad. The new 'Exam Bars' are available in traditional and modern outlets across the country. The campaign has been launched across digital mediums.

"The SNICKERS Exam Bars campaign was built for students across the country who are putting in their best efforts to prepare for the upcoming exams. Stress and nervousness are hard to avoid during examinations, and students from class 10th and 12th especially are giving in their best at this time," says Yogesh Tewari, marketing director, Mars Wrigley.

"While packaging may not be the main focus for every campaign, it is one of the strongest asset that a brand can utilize and leverage in creative and unique ways. After all, it is the first point of contact that a customer has with the product," he adds.

Speaking on the campaign, Akashneel Dasgupta, chief creative officer Delhi, BBDO India, says, "The TG of 17-18 year olds has always been a part of the Snickers world. It is just that the campaign is really contextual due to the upcoming board exams, which have more of a sharply defined TG of 16 to 18 year olds. The profiles that we have used in the campaign are the average profiles that one can find in every Indian classroom."

Akashneel Dasgupta
Akashneel Dasgupta

"While the global idea doesn't change, the stereotypes are very Indian and that's the most important thing that we had to keep in mind. We wanted people to identify with these stereotypes. That was the biggest challenge. Every class has all of these characters. If one thinks, they can put names against these profiles," Dasgupta adds.

Industry speak

Lloyd Mathias, business strategist and former PC marketing head for Asia, HP

Lloyd Mathias
Lloyd Mathias

I think it is an excellent campaign that reaches out to the pre-teens and teens who are now part of their target audience. Also, the initiative is great in terms of timing - given that examinations are around the corner. It has been brilliantly executed - taking typical student reactions with a wonderful Indian twist. All in all, an excellent campaign that uses packaging cleverly to bolster the appeal.

Anusheela Saha, group creative director, FCB Ulka

Anusheela Saha, group creative director, FCB Ulka.
Anusheela Saha, group creative director, FCB Ulka.

A lot has been done on exams by Indian brands, Mirinda, Horlicks, Bournvita – the beverage and health food categories have made it their business to take a stab at exams every now and then. So a fresh take on this newbie sought after promotional season is not easy and that makes us love the Snickers packaging even more. Coca Cola showed us the way and Snickers took it to a different level. What’s also charming is the free 1 month session with Merit Nation. The long format film is predictable and doesn’t really cut ice. Though I am picking up a few bars for my nephew for sure – boards are just round the corner!

Campaign Details

Creative Agency – BBDO India, Gurgaon

Team credits

  • Josy Paul – Chairman and Chief Creative Officer

    Akashneel Dasgupta – Chief Creative Officer

    Anunay Rai – Executive Creative Director (Art)

    Shinjini Banerjee – Creative Director (Copy)

    Sanjay Chakravorthy – Associate Creative Director (Art)

    Jagpal Singh – Senior Art Director

    Yukti Bhagchandani – Copywriter

    Account management

    Nikhil Mahajan – Chief Growth Officer & General Manager

    Jazryk Kaur Gill – Vice President

    Tanushree Paul – Account Director

    Kritika Vasan – Sr. Account Executive


    Ravi Bhat – Vice President Planning


    BBDO + Full Circle

    Gautam Vaze – Director

    Producer - Anand Wagle – Full Circle

    Krishna KV – BBDO Producer

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