Corporate Eye

Snickers Commercial Tops List of Most Effectives Ads in Q1 2011

A humorous commercial from Snickers ranked #1 as the most effective ad for the first quarter of 2011 in a survey by Ace Metrix.  The study results came from a survey of 500 consumers that represent the television viewing audience. Humor is almost always popular in advertising, and the Snickers commercial created by BBDO is a perfect example of how even offbeat humor can drive positive results. The survey asked respondents to identify how much they liked the commercials presented as well as how much they want the product or service being advertised.

You can watch the top-ranking commercial from Snickers, called “Focus Group,” below. It features sharks and flips the tables on traditional market research focus groups. What’s not to like?

The commercial is featured in the Snickers YouTube channel along with many other humorous Snickers commercials. The Snickers brand has been using humor in its advertising for a long time, and it still works. Spots are always fresh rather than cliche. For example, Snickers commercials have featured celebrities like Betty White, Aretha Franklin, Liza Minelli, and Rosanne Barr. While you might think such use would be incredibly cliche, the Snickers campaign used these celebrities in a surprisingly innovative way. Check out the spot with Rosanne Barr and Richard Lewis below to see for yourself.

In fact, if you visit the Snickers YouTube channel, the entire content concept is based on humor.  This is a brand that understands what it is — candy. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and isn’t afraid to think creatively to consistently build that brand image.

To date, Snickers has avoided pushing the envelope of tasteful humor too far. In other words, the use of humor in Snickers commercials follows the three primary steps of brand-building: consistency, persistence, and restraint. It’s a great brand to research and watch to learn how to build and maintain a brand image throughout its lifecycle.

What do you think? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.