Take a look at BBDO’s Snicker ad on the back cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated Bathing Suit issue.
Brilliant. Not because it’s a print ad, but because it hijacks a cultural moment. The fact is there aren’t very many universal or all-inclusive media events anymore – the Super Bowl, the Oscars, a few others perhaps.
But smart brands and their marketing partners can create visible concepts by identifying the few that do remain and making themselves a part of them. It could be the news, public events, popular TV episodes or in this case a highly anticipated magazine edition. Snickers and its ad agency did exactly that, leveraging SI’s best selling issue of the year. BBDO knows the controversy that this annual display of soft porn inevitably generates will make the candy brand both visible and conversation worthy.
This particular ad is smart for a second reason as well. The concept goes beyond a media buy, i.e. being in a highly visible place. Instead, Snickers makes itself one with the content.
It’s not as if this hasn’t been done before. CP&B pioneered the approach in 2003 for Molson. Last year Mullen applied the technique for Century 21. And exactly 12 months ago, Barbie made news when it took over the very same magazine.
But this execution earns praise for being fast and simple. Always a good thing.
Forget for a moment the questionable social ramifications of the bathing suit issue itself. Instead, think about the “formula” for doing traditional, yet non-traditional advertising. Or any good creative, for that matter.
As always, start with questions.
Strategy: You’re not you when you’re hungry. (Snickers is the hunger satisfier.)
- What problem are you trying to solve? Start your advertising with the problem you solve, not the solution you offer. (You’re not you when you’re hungry.) What does that look like?
- Ask who can’t afford to be hungry? What if Marcia (Brady Brunch) were hungry? What if a supermodel were hungry?
- Ask what is happening right now? Are there trends, news, stories, media events, personalities that you can tap into. You want to go where there is already interest and attention.
- Brian Williams anyone?
Ideally, questions will inspire creative ideas. Generate a lot of them and see where you end up.