I’m not snickering at Snickers’ problems

By now, the advertising pundits and outraged members of the gay community have all weighed in on the oh-so-politically incorrect Super Bowl commercial from Snickers. Advertising experts agree it was a bad ad to begin with, while some members of the gay community have spoken out about the commercial being homophobic (note: the spot shows two guys ripping out their chest hair after ending up in a kiss as a result of consuming a Snickers bar from opposite ends).

Regardless of who’s right and who isn’t I, for one, feel Snickers’ pain. They clearly designed the over-the-top spot in order to break through the Super Bowl commercial clutter. Their PR firm actually distributed the commercial in advance of the game to build buzz. Unfortunately, this particular viral effort backfired big time, forcing Snickers to yank the spot.

Snickers and other marketers are being forced to become more and more outrageous in a vain attempt to establish a dialogue with consumers. Sadly, what the advertisers are missing completely is that these types of mass appeal ads aren’t nearly as effective as one-to-one marketing. And, the best TV commercials now all have digital, viral and one-to-one components added on because, if you’ll excuse the pun, they’re no longer ‘sticking’ to consumers and influencing decision-making.

So, Snickers, while my stomach may not go out to you (I don’t have a sweet tooth), my heart does. Hang in there, go back to the drawing board and factor in more one-to-one, and less Super Bowl thinking into future initiatives.

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