Friday, March 20, 2009


I'm guessing that by now you've seen (and are possibly tired of, or deeply detest) the Snickers ad campaign for which they've made up words in (brace yourself) "snacklish." Words like hungerectomy, peanutopolis, nougatocity have been around for months and the most recent wave brings snaxophone, nutopia, antihungerestablishmentariansm...and so on. Truth is - i'm conflicted about this awful/amazing semantic buffoonery in the name of selling a candy bar. Horrified and somewhat...taken with them. Despite the terrifying message they deliver about the power of brand recognition, I'm a reluctant fan. And enjoy imagining the meeting where a bunch of marketing execs sat around a table, dreaming up the campaign, and shouting out brand new words in snacklish.

But do they work? They've sprouted up thickly around downtown Chicago, and have come up lately in a few conversations (ok...i've brought them up) and it seems like while everyone has seen the ads...nobody I've talked to has actually bought a Snickers candy bar since noticing them at on billboards, at bus stops, on taxi cab roofs. Maybe we'll all buy cases off the internet this holiday season, and wonder why.
Anyway, this latest batch of vocabulary is kinda weak. Take "chewmute," which is plastered on the side of CTA buses. Took days before I figured it out. Chewmute. On the bus. COMmute. Good grief, Charlie Brown.

Um...what about sound, you may be thinking? Right. Sound. Spend just a minute or two on the
Snickers website. The audio is fucking out of control. And beware the loudspeakers, which belt out 'funky' and 'snaxophone' in the same sentence. Which should be against the law.


Liz said...

Your description of the Snickers web audio reminds me of the Hannah's Bretzel web audio. It manages to be fun and exciting as well as supremely unsatisfying as it abruptly ends in silence.

I have described it to friends as the exact opposite of what it feels like to watch the film Bullitt.

Delaney said...

I've been trying to think up inappropriate/negative words in snacklish. The words that got thrown out during that marketing meeting.


Someone should create a parallel anti-snickers campaign, co-opting the snacklish language.

shapiro said...

"someone", DH? peanutrocity is brilliant. keep going!

Wilcox said...

The first piece of this campaign that I noticed was a billboard near Sacramento and Armitage that said "Master P-Nut." For the longest time I thought Master P was putting out a new record -- and that for some reason he'd decided to make it look like a Snickers bar.

shapiro said...

maybe he should have. or still should.

shapiro said...

am on chewmute bus RIGHT NOW. thrilling!

Eric said...

I'm not sure the effectiveness of advertising for products with 100% brand recognition (e.g., Snickers, Coca-Cola) can really be measured. I think it's more a matter of forcing it into the collective consciousness. It doesn't inspire an immediate purchase; it just reminds you that it's there.

RTE Choice said...

Welcome back Lissenup.

Ronan Kelly