Monday, July 17, 2006

Eating Snickers may make you nuts.

Possible symptoms include a failure to complete tasks, crazy talk, shortsightedness and humorlessness. My first suspicion that eating or even simple exposure to Snickers may result in diminished mental facilities was when I began to spot outdoor ads with baffling words on them. The ads looked like Snickers wrappers, but instead of the word "Snickers" there are words like Satisfectellent, Nougatocity, Hungerectomy, Substantialicious and Peanutopolis.

Last week I created two posts about this campaign. In the post I talked about the made-up word approach that these ads employed, but refrained from expressing that I thought the campaign was weak. It's not a new idea. Rave culture produced playful, subverted versions of corporate logos, keeping the visual elements intact and replacing the corporate name with the word TECHNO. Subvertisers have done the same thing with corporate logos to express their politics. On the word front, Steven Colbert and Rich Hall are both masters of the made-up word. The examples in this campaign fall a bit short of the word wizardry of these two men.

Last Sunday evening I noticed something interesting. About a third of the visits to my blog were from people Googling words in this campaign. (Now, let me clarify. That is saying very, very little. Probably less. I started this particular blog on Memorial Day and have done nothing to promote it.) That said, given all the things I have posted about I couldn't believe that this was my biggest pull so far. Did other people think this was clever?

I decided to Google the word Satisfectellent for myself and take a look at the search results. 2 results were returned, both blogs, one being mine. The agency that does Snicker's advertising has not bothered to purchase the made-up words in this campaign as Google Adwords and have them point to the Snickers web site. (Instead, consumers get a link to a blog with a post about the shortsightedness of their campaign.) I was absolutely astonished. Why would they not have these words direct consumers to the Snicker's site and engage them is some extension of the campaign? Its a word-based cammpaign! Better yet, why wouldn't a Google search for the word Satisfectellent point to and engage consumers in an extension of this campaign. The easy answer is that they never purchased the domain name for Satisfectellent. The domain names for all of the words I listed from this campaign are still available! GO GET EM! What does it cost to buy a domain name these days? So little that there is no excuse for not doing it.

I am truly dumbstruck that given all the talk about 360 degree marketing, integrated campaigns and non-traditional ideas that an agency would launch a campaign like this and not give it some legs. Even the humble flagellum gets a whip-like tail to get around with. This baby was sent out into the cold, cold world with nothing.

Had some of the neologisms in this campaign been more humorous and done a better job at dimensionalizing the experience of eating a Snickers, there are some fun things that could have been done. The best part of Rich Hall's Sniglets was the way they set you up for the payoff delivered by the definition. (Example: Aeroma (ayr oh' ma) - n. The odor emanating from an exercise room after an aerobics workout.) There's an idea for a simple page for each of the words. Or, it could have been opened up to participation. Allow users to craft words. Maybe there's a contest. Winners could receive Snickers bars with the neologism they created printed on the labels. That's enough. They didn't bother, why should I?

Neologistic Tendencies
Another made up word from Snickers: Nougatocity


ANIMIKE said...

The only reason, that I can think of, for not running a contest out of making up names for the wrappers is that it would expose any joe off the street as having more talent than the average six figure ad man.

theotherguy5 said...

now that's a t-shirt.

Tom Sherman said...

ha, f***ing funny

Anonymous said...

creating a made up word that requires no definition isnt' as creative as making up a word that has to be displayed with a definition? hmm. How long does the average consumer give an ad? yeah guess they should have done it in a stand up routine. A one second, provoking, interesting, "baffling" read that looks exactly like their image? Shame on them they must be idiots. But then you go on to say that, oh wait, it is working. People are curious, they are googling. They did fall way short by not foreseeing that. But come on, keep bashing them.

Anonymous said...

i find sherman:ignoramalicious

ignorant and somewhat malicious, but still appetizing

Tom Sherman said...

The spread I've seen goes both ways. Some people think the ads are great others think they are lame. I'm not sure what the numbers are like, but, in this day and age people google things that they find curious, like WORDS. Im really not bashing the work, perhaps being a bit provocative, its the follow through that I found shameful.

Anonymous said...

I googled "satisfectellent" while bored at work to lead me to another rediculous word I saw on a snickers billboard so I could tell my friend (we were making fun of the campaign, specifically peanutropolis and satisfectellent). So no, I didn't think it was clever! Your blog came up first and mirrors my sentiments exactley.

Not Chris Hollstein said...

I've always enjoyed Snickers as a candy bar and I miss the days of their non sequitir tv spots ("I'm Batman"). Those ads had, a built in humor to the inane dialogue that ANYONE could understand.

Over the past few weeks, I have felt nothing but curious bafflement to enraged puzzlement over the exact design of the current print ads and why the Director of Marketing approved these.

Aside from no discernible "theme" in the conjuncted words (Where does 'Peanutopolis' fit?) they aren't even well crafted.
Immediately after seeing "satisfectellent" it occurred to me that "satistastic" would have been much catchier and easier to say and not sound like a venereal disease.

But as many cautious consumers are already aware, products are recognizeable by their colors and patterns and designs and fonts. Nowhere on these ads is the word "Snickers" and yet we all know what to buy.

93% of the advertising in this country is beyond the term "sucking hard" but at least they don't have that creepy Burger King mascot prancing around or condone misogyny like any beer ad ("To the bride!" cheers a group of men at their male friend's wedding after cutting off the ice effigy head of the bride to cool their beer).

Anonymous said...

heh, this is what I got in google...

Sponsored Links
What is Hungerectomy?
We offer non-sugical ways to remove
hunger by making you money! Biz Opp

Erin said...

I was in California on a weeklong trip (I'm a Floridian), and the first of these billboards that I ever saw was, "Satisfectellent." I'm not sure I like when my candy bar is made to sound diseased.


Anonymous said...

Hung Erect O My

CT said...

Brilliant. I've been watching these freaking ads roll by on busses and cabs every day for weeks. Everytime I mutter the word to myself and wonder what the payoff is. There must be some corny or clever web site to explain these silly terms. I mean, there's an idea behind this right?

So when I finally remember to google one of the words, there it is... nothing. Nothing? WTF?

I'll tell you something. I work at an ad agency and no fucking way this would ever fly at my joint. Poor, poor, lazy execution. What the hell were they thinking? Now all I will think when I see those ads is "how long before that agency is fired?"


Anonymous said...

People have said that "All your base are belong to us" was going to die off as soon as it hit the web but it still lives to this day. Sometimes things don't have to make sense to Intellectuals for them to make sense to the rest of the world, you're just thinking too hard. It's brilliant and you're just upset you didn't think of it first. It will have a life of its own and it doesn't need another website for that, that's what blogging is for you silly boy. Sometimes it's the humor that carries it on, or have you lost your funny bone too? Hint (to that last comment) - Lost your creativity?

Anonymous said...

Great points. I came to your site because of googling Nougatocity. Boy did they miss the boat on that ad campaign.

Anonymous said...

the ad campaign has you all talking about it doesn't it? worked like a charm.

Erin said...

By the way, "substantialiscious" would not be classified as a noun. The wrapper defines it as a noun, but clearly it is a combination of two adjectives. If you're going to make up a word, at least run it by someone who knows their parts of speech.

Anonymous said...

"Instead, consumers get a link to a blog with a post about the shortsightedness of their campaign". Now that's funny.

Tom said...

This should make it better:

Anonymous said...

my favorite advertising campeign so far has been NOLAF, or

made by fritolay. that's advertising I can respect and admire, this... is disappointing

Anonymous said...

Worked like a charm? Yeah, a cursed charm.

Sure we are talking about the campaign, but in a negative way.

If the campaign turns off the customer, how is that going to help sell the product?

From a copywriter.

"Anonymous said...
the ad campaign has you all talking about it doesn't it? worked like a charm.

5:17 AM"

Anonymous said...

thet should print "sell for $.50" on the back of a snickers because it ain't worth $1.50

Anonymous said...


The Rustic Victorian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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