Snickers’ China Campaign Uses Digital to Kill Your Hunger

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Snickers, a popular snack amongst Chinese youth, has launched a clever campaign to capture the online culture of their fan base.

Snickers has enjoyed success in China by communicating a local version of their ‘hunger killing” global positioning.  In their latest campaign, the snack brand uses the star-power of Chinese pop band TFBOYS to ‘bring to life’ the ‘battle against hunger’.

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The Campaign – Boy Band kills Hunger Monsters with Snickers

To land this idea with younger consumers, the three members of TFBOYS become characters in a game, where the aim is to kill the monster called “Hunger”.   To create local relevance, the starting point of the game is the common pain-point of preparing for stressful exam preparation.   The gamified TFBOYS must negotiate different levels, where they encounter different types of ‘hunger monsters’ – who represent “tiredness”,  “stress”, and worst of all, “pressure”.

To defeat the different ‘hunger monsters’ – i.e. the annoyances associated with exam prep – the TFBOYS must shoot the monster, until a big bar of Snickers finally ends the monster.   The game rules and cameos are shown on videos on Snicker’s Tencent Video account.

Also, yesterday Snickers extended the campaign ideas to their Tmall store.  On Tmall, fans could buy special “beat your exam stress” boxes of Snickers, with unique design with TFBOYS and Hunger Monsters from the game.

As a campaign, we like it.   As it used youth celebrities in the context of a common challenge for young people.  In the context of stressful exams, the brand is present, but not over-the-top.  Snicker successfully provides support to high school students, and creates a fun rendition of what is often is ‘the most stressful time of the year”.  All consistently wrapped in their core message – that the brand deals with your hunger, like no other.

One thing we notice here in China, is that when brands communicate on digital, they become ‘overly loose’ with their brand messaging – almost changing character.   Snickers is a good example of a brand that communicates consistently around its core benefits, irrespective of the media they are using.  The benefit is a consistent ‘call to action’, and organic amplification of the brand through local digital communities.

About Author

Jerry Clode

Jerry Clode is Head of Digital & Social Insight at Resonance. He leads Resonance SMART, providing leading-edge research, strategy and naming for brands in China using bespoke methodologies. Jerry also produces Resonance's popular China Social Branding Report, a bi-weekly publication covering modern marketing methods of the world's top brands.

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