Hunger games

Written by Sukalp Sharma | Sukalp Sharma | Updated: Jan 22 2013, 07:12am hrs
In spite of having an impressive ensemble of names and a successful global campaign to show the way, this Snickers ad comes across as confined and constrained in its thought and execution

Campaign name: Hunger Acche Accho Ko Badal Deta Hai

Brand: Snickers

Company: Mars International India

Agency: RK Swamy/BBDO

The Campaign

The film opens on a group of young men en route to a cricket match. As they exchange banter about the sport, they are interrupted by an annoyed womans voice. Startled, they look back and see yesteryears Bollywood prima donna Rekha in the car with them. She chastises them about how their constant chatter is irritating, what it will take for them to shut up and she goes on to attack her fellow passenger with his stinky gloves. The driver asks if shes gone mad, to which she mockingly responds that she has and continues with her ranting. Thats when one of the guys offers her a bar of Snickers. Why should I eat this, she asks as she grabs it. He tells her that when shes hungry, she turns into a heroine. She bites in.

The friend turns around to ask whether she is okay now. In Rekhas place is one of their friends, who has transformed back to his normal self. Okay, he says, nodding in relief. Hunger Acche Acchon Ko Badal Deta Hai (Hunger can make the best man go bonkers), declares the tagline.

We come back to see that the gang has reached the cricket ground when they are interrupted by incessant honking. In place of the driver is another film star Urmila Matondkar, throwing a tantrum and asking them whether she is their driver. As the friends come up to offer another Snickers to their hungry friend, we see the pack shot and line Hungry Grab A Snickers!.

Our Take

The chocolate market in India is pegged at around R3,000 crore and competition will only heat up in the time to come. No wonder then that Mars for the first time in India has roped in two celebrities to endorse one of its brands. This campaign was conceptualised on the lines of Mars award winning global campaign Youre Not You When Youre Hungry.

So Mars brought in the one true and timeless diva of Indian cinema, Rekha for Snickers debut ad in India. Incidentally, this is Rekhas first ever television commercial. Matondkar also features in the commercial, and it has been directed by popular Bollywood director Imtiaz Ali. But despite all this, the ad comes across as surprisingly confined and constrained in its thought and execution. Make no mistake, the brand communication is very straightforward and clear, but it lacks the flair of creativity, which often separates the extraordinary from the ordinary. The ad and its execution looks hurried. Humour as an evocative creative tool also doesnt come out in full force or measure. Maybe they were trying too hard to break out of the clutter, which they still might manage to a certain extent.

Its a cut-throat competitive market, not just in terms of the chocolate segment but also in terms of its advertising. On the other end of the spectrum, there is Cadbury which has for years doled out one successful ad campaign after the other. Even in case of Snickers, some of their global ads are extremely well done with an intelligent use of humour that doesnt seem forced. On the other hand, this ad is set in stereotypes and can be even considered a little derogatory towards female actors as the impression one gets after watching the ad is that female actors or, to use the words of the ad, heroines are tantrum-throwing prima donnas.

Overall, this ad, with the potential it visibly had could have been so much better. And at 58 years of age, its far from a dream advertising debut for Rekha.

Ratings: **