Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve measured a significant drop in ads that have scored on our Funny emo with advertisers focusing on COVID-related topics and maintaining a sober tone. So far in 2020, 41% of Funny ads came from January and February, with the rest spread out through the following stay-at-home order filled months. There was also another dip in June, likely brought on by brands pivoting to address racism in the wake of George Floyd’s death and the protests it spurred:
Luckily, Snickers came along to help us laugh again. With a pithy one-liner, the brand hilariously played out a simple, yet memorable scene with a topical Zoom reference – all within a canny 15 seconds. The unintentional undie entrance left viewers entertained – proving Snickers’ classic humor has a place in the “new normal.”
Snickers is known for raising the (candy) bar, with memorable ads starring celebrities like Robin Williams and the iconic Super Bowl XLIV ad with Betty White seemingly getting tackled in a football game as part of their prolific “You’re not you when you’re hungry” global campaign. Snickers most recent ad “First Visitors” proved a worthy addition to their catalog, scoring an 9 on our Funny metric – making it the funniest ad of 2020, even beating this year’s Super Bowl ads.
“I think this ad is absolutely AMAZING! It really, really grabs someone’s attention. And from a chocolate lover’s stand point, I would want to buy one like right now!!” Female 21-35
“It is hilarious! With all of us doing Zoom meetings due to Covid, we can relate to the casual, staying in your clothes(or underwear in this case) while working.” Female 36-49
“This ad made me crack up. I could totally relate to the guy thinking it was going to be a Zoom call. Great humor, funny characters and I love Snickers candy as well.” Male 36-49
Seeing a grown man so casually in his tighty-whities proved not only hilarious, but Memorable as well as Inappropriate:
Going for laughs in ads comes with more risks than other emotions as consumers don’t always have the same sense of humor. In 2019, 24% of Funny ads also had signal on our Exploit score, which is one half of our Cultural Perception measure that uses actual viewer responses to identify positive and negative reactions to cultural and social subjects – simultaneously measuring if an ad is empowering or exploitative of people in general. Despite its risqué nature and quarantine related storyline, “First Visitors” managed to make Gen Pop viewers laugh without scoring on our Exploit metric.
With an Attention score 13% higher than the year to date Candy average, “First Visitors” leveraged every second of its :15 run time leading to a top-2-box purchase intent of 59% (+6% over candy YTD norm).
The slightly exaggerated experience of walking in on a Zoom call where only your upper-half should be showing, only to be met with looks of shock and embarrassment, left viewers with a realistic yet humor-filled portrayal of something that really could happen in today’s video chat filled world. Gen Z is perhaps too tech-savvy to find this funny (or too repulsed by an “old guy” in his skivvies) but not Gen X — this scenario showed a +60 point increase in Ace Score for viewers 36-49:
Truly funny ads often require courage. Honest, edgy ads that toe the line without going over it will have broad appeal. Seeing that Snickers was able to minimize the number of people that took offense to its Zoom trope to only those who had reservations about seeing others in undies, the ad serves as a perfect example on how to execute culturally relevant yet humorously sensitive advertising without sparking any Exploit signal. As one viewer put it best, “This was a great ad. Topical, funny, memorable. If I wasn’t allergic to peanuts, I’d buy it.”