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Snickers: The Influence of Public Relations on Their Success

Public relations professionals frame an organization's image, build the brand, share the organization's message, and minimize the impact of passive publicity. According to the Public Relations Society of America, "Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

In the Snickers scenario, PR and the marketing campaign have impacted people's thinking and motivation to buy. People have largely liked the campaign "You're Not You When You're Hungry," for sure, and the humor built into it made the campaign successful for a few years.

James Miller, global head of strategy for Mars explains how fame has been a key driver in making Snickers' six-year global campaign so effective. "We concluded that driving fame—in particular, getting more and more people talking about the brand—would deliver penetration growth and drive sales. Taking a step back, we looked at the work we were creating around the globe and quickly realized that it did not reflect our analysis of how communication would grow the brand. This had been pushing us toward targeting men using very "blokey" humor. We couldn’t ignore or walk away from our past, but our new approach meant finding insight and a story that would connect with everyone.” Read Full Article of James Miller

The company took advantage of this tone and cooperated with celebrities to create distinctive advertisements and to create tailored ads to suit each country. Thanks to those efforts, the saying has become popular and is frequently used among people on social media.

Although already known before the successful campaign, the Snickers brand was often forgotten or had, for many consumers, lost its luster. The campaign helped with promotion and brand awareness, and people started to look back to the Snickers brand, not only in the U.S. but also internationally. Using celebrities in the ads in a nice and funny way also helped attract a lot of attention to the ads.

The Snickers example helps illustrate why the PR and marketing relationship is important, strong, and beneficial. It presents an opportunity to create plans on how to influence public opinion and generate reactions through marketing and advertising campaigns. Success in introducing a particular concept or influencing a particular habit may make it possible to drive the target group to not only follow a specific advertising campaign but also then make a purchase.

To assess whether such PR and marketing efforts are effective, we can look to key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs that we would be looking for in the Snickers scenario includes the sales growth of the company. In the case study, "In its first full year, ‘You’re Not You When You’re Hungry’ helped increase global sales of Snickers by 15.9% and grew market share in 56 of the 58 markets." Those results show the great influence that has occurred through the marketing and PR efforts.

It’s not easy to launch a marketing campaign similar to the Snickers “You're Not You When You're Hungry” campaign. To have that kind of success, the marketing message must be strong and resonate enough with the target audience to fulfill its purpose. If the message is weak, it can ruin the whole marketing plan and damage the product's future.


“All About PR.” Public Relations Society of America

Markgraf, Bert. “Integrated Marketing Communication As a Management Function.” Small Business - Chron.com

Miller, James. “Case Study: How Fame Made Snickers' 'You're Not You When You're Hungry' Campaign a Success.” Campaign US, 26 Oct. 2016.

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