A Snickers Twitter advertising campaign is under investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) following complaints about the brand’s use of several celebrity Twitter accounts.
The campaign was fronted by celebrities including Rio Ferdinand, Katie Price and Cher Lloyd, all of whom took payment in return for advertising Snickers on their Twitter. The ASA has launched an investigation into Snickers’ innovative campaign following confusion surrounding the commercial nature of the activity. The ASA are reported to have received two complaints from members of the public regarding the tweets last week, prompting the investigation.
The campaign gets the celebrities to tweet about something Snickers thinks would be out of character. Then an hour later they reveal they weren’t feeling themselves because they hadn’t eaten Snickers recently. For example Katie Price tweeted from her @MissKatiePrice account last week about the Eurozone debt problems and China’s GDP rating, before revealing that she hadn’t been herself because she was too hungry. She then tweeted the Snickers strapline, “You’re not you when you’re hungry @snickersUK #hungry #spon” and a picture of her holding a Snickers bar.
As crass as the campaign may be, it certainly got people talking and watching the account for further tweets. However, it is in no way without considerable flaws. For example, in Katie Prices stunt, the campaign implied that hunger made Jordan more intelligent and that a Snickers would turn her back to normal, not necessarily a positive thing given her public perception as being rather unintelligent.