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Betty White Snickers Ad

October 3, 2012

Is the Betty White Snickers ad and others like it bad for us as a society?

I just watched that funny Betty White Snickers ad on YouTube. The one with her playing football.  But Betty is not Betty, she’s some kid named Mike, who because he’s hungry is playing like Betty White.  Some girl comes up to him gives him a Snickers and BAM!…Mike is himself again. And then the branding occurs..”You’re not you when you’re hungry…Snickers Satisfies”.

First let me say that I do think the Betty White Snickers ad is very funny and creative.  And I do like Snickers bars.  And I love Betty White (are you out there Betty).  But after watching what I found myself thinking about was is this the right message to send young people about what to eat when they are hungry.

I think most of us would agree that it’s not.  And if it’s not, then why do it? Particularly when we have a national health crisis centered around making bad choices about what to eat.

I don’t expect Mars Candy to do anything different.  And you could argue that, well everyone knows you should not eat candy whenever you’re hungry.  But do we? And even if we do can we consistently overcome the power of the branding that teaches us a very specific message (hey…when you’re hungry you’re not yourself) reinforces a very specific behavior (so reach for some candy…namely a Snickers).

I would argue no.  If we could we would not have a national health crisis.  We all know that candy and fast food is bad for us.  Rots our teeth (do look at this web-site to know how to fix it immediately) and makes us fat…but we eat anyway. Why?  Because marketers tell us to.

I know why Mars runs the ads. And I’m not advocating that we should get rid of candy and candy commercials. I just wonder why more marketers are not encouraging young people to make better eating choices.

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