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Snickers’ Fully Integrated, Insight-Driven Marketing Goldmine Teaches Healthcare Marketing a Lesson.

October 29, 2015
Brand Messaging, Converged Media

What can hospital marketers learn from a 250-calorie, chocolate treat? Namely, that Snickers has integrated, insight-driven marketing so firmly grasped it is a mistake for us not to take note. That’s right, Snickers has for the past five years, proven the importance of having a genuine, simple consumer insight lead their marketing and advertising communications. The candy giant that was once struggling in a crowded market has flexed its integrated advertising muscle on a worldwide scale to recapture share and affinity.

And though a candy bar might seem to have little in common with a hospital, healthcare marketers can use the same mix of insight-driven marketing and creativity to get really sweet results.

In 2010, the “You’re not you” campaign launched in the U.S. via a Super Bowl TV commercial featuring actress Betty White. The creative leveraged trendy celebrities, an air of ridiculousness, and a wonderfully simple human truth that if you’re in need of food, you don’t perform normally. The insight guided the creative, so much so, that it is also the tag line: “You’re not you when you’re hungry.”

The messaging certainly did not stop at the Super Bowl advertisement. The campaign was brought to life across seemingly every channel from grass-root local advertisements placed around New York City to billboards, Sports Illustrated Covers, YouTube vlogger partnerships and additional TV spots. It has evolved beyond the single tagline to other consumer truths. For example, “you make mistakes when you’re hungry” was used on stickers placed next to public infrastructure mistakes across New York City. The hash tag “#HungryMistakes” was used to tie in the social space and serve as a call to action to get consumers to further engage with the brand online. These are just a few examples of how Snickers has continued to get it right with this campaign.

A key driver of this campaign’s success is simplicity: a simple compelling consumer insight, and simple, clever creative executions. The simplicity of these two elements allows the campaign to be easily adapted across almost any platform.

Media strategy and placement are another key attribute to the success of this campaign. Snickers is reaching consumers through the expected platforms where consumers are already engaged and seeking content, and in unexpected new places (like the stickers). 

In every instance, the creative executions ladder up from the root insight of not behaving as you normally would, when you’re hungry. The tie back to the campaign construct is always present. Each execution uniquely visualizes the insight and reaches consumers across every touch point to keep the brand experience alive. All of that nets more candy bars in more consumers’ stomachs.

And for hospital marketers who follow the same approach, it means more patients in more hospital beds.

Sadie Howes

At the time of this post Sadie, was an Account Manager at BPD. She’s a veteran of Draft FCB and Y&R in the Big Apple.

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