Snickers, a longtime official sponsor of the NFL, has endeared itself to football fans in various ways through the years, including its memorable Super Bowl commercial starring Betty White back in 2010. But the brand was not satisfied with the amount of buzz it was generating throughout the entire NFL season. So, the Mars Wrigley brand decided to come up with a new program for avid NFL fans, whom research showed were three times more likely to read, follow and engage with NFL content on social platforms.
Working with The Marketing Arm, Snickers looked to college football’s sideline awards given out to players to celebrate after big plays — most notably The University of Miami’s “Turnover Chain,” which lit up social media from 2017 to 2019 — as the inspiration for its “Snickers Hungriest Player” award. A collaboration with acclaimed jeweler Ben Baller led to the creation of the 2020 Snickers Chain, and the program was supported by PR activity with NFL Hall of Famer Ed Reed.
A media blitz started on week one of ESPN’s “Sunday Countdown,” where cast members showed off the Snickers Chain and kibbitzed about the award, followed by a rigorous 14-week activation throughout the NFL season. Player selections were made and deals were struck every Monday, with social postings continuing throughout the week. Snickers also secured national coverage through NFL and media partnerships, including integrations with “Sunday Countdown,” two 30-second TV spots produced by NFL Films, including Monday Night Football in week two and NFL Honors in February. Snickers ultimately activated with 14 different Hungriest Players of the Week, nine of whom were selected to the Pro Bowl.
The Snickers Hungriest Player program exceeded all goals and expectations for social engagement metrics and delivered a 4.3% growth for Snickers Share Size Pack (the brand’s biggest priority in terms of dollar sales), including a one-point increase in household penetration in the fourth quarter of 2020 versus the previous year.