APOLOGY PRESS CONFERENCE

TitleAPOLOGY PRESS CONFERENCE
ClientMARS JAPAN
Product / ServiceSNICKERS
CategoryA03. Best Use of Live Events and/or Celebrity Endorsement
EntrantI&S BBDO Tokyo, JAPAN
Entrant Company I&S BBDO Tokyo, JAPAN
Advertising Agency I&S BBDO Tokyo, JAPAN
PR Agency KYODO PUBLIC RELATIONS Tokyo, JAPAN

The Campaign

Snickers is one of the world’s best known chocolate bars. But in Japan, Snickers is a much smaller player. Dozens of huge brands like Lotte, Meiji, and Morinaga battle for space on the shelves and a share of people’s minds. The budgets are substantial, and the market is famously innovative, with new SKU’s, packaging, and flavours driving short-term volume gains in the market. With a media budget less than ½ of 1% of the category spend, and with nothing new to say, we couldn’t outshout our competitors, so we had to find a different way to capture our target’s attention. We gave regular people the chance to apologize for bad behaviour in a fun, dramatic way – at The Snickers Apology Press Conference. Besides telling their stories publically, people got absolution for their bad deeds by being able to blame their actions on ‘hunger’. We had a celebrity ‘face’ to the event – a notorious rebel named Yuya known for his lengthy and dramatic public apologies. We solicited entries online, and then a short list of apologizers was invited to the live event. Invitations went out to the mass and youth-skewed press (both online and offline), and thousands turned out to watch the event live in person and online. At the end, the best apologizer was crowned by Yuya, and he gave everyone the advice that next time, they should all just go out and eat Snickers. Additional communication material was then created from the live content for follow-up campaigns.

The Brief

In 2012 we needed to do more than just a TV ad. We needed to build on our 2011 work (launched a new campaign which humourously depicted the mental and social consequences of hunger), and get more young people engaging with our campaign, not just watching it on TV. We had to consider a broader media spectrum, and tried to engage local media to help communicate our brand story to a mass media-adverse younger target. Measurement of Success: o PR exposure value o Annual sales increase o Usage rate & likability among younger male(High teen & 20s)

Results

Business goals: o Increased annual sales +10% o Increased usage rate amongst 16-19: 142%, 20-24:148% (campaign Pre/post survey) Communication goals: o Increased likability for Snickers: 120% (campaign pre/post survey) 50 media outlets covered the event, including: o TV show, has best rating in Sunday morning: Sunday Japon o Biggest sales tabloid News paper in Japan: Tokyo sports o Internet news media: Yahoo! News(has biggest viewer), Naver Matome(Biggest news blog) , Owarai Natalie(Biggest news blog amongst teen), and 35 other news websites covered the event Collectively we achieved over US$1million in PR media exposure, and through SNS reached an additional 2,720,000 followers.

Execution

We gave regular people the chance to apologize for bad behaviour in a fun, dramatic way – at The Snickers Apology Press Conference. Besides telling their stories publically, people got absolution for their bad deeds by being able to blame their actions on ‘hunger’. We had a celebrity ‘face’ to the event – a notorious rebel named Yuya known for his lengthy and dramatic public apologies. We solicited entries online, and then a short list of apologizers was invited to the live event. Invitations went out to the mass and youth-skewed press (both online and offline), and thousands turned out to watch the event live in person and online. At the end, the best apologizer was crowned by Yuya, and he gave everyone the advice that next time, they should all just go out and eat Snickers. Additional communication material was then created from the live content for follow-up campaigns.

The Situation

Snickers is one of the world’s best known chocolate bars. But in Japan, Snickers is a much smaller player. Dozens of huge brands like Lotte, Meiji, and Morinaga battle for space on the shelves and a share of people’s minds. The budgets are substantial, and the market is famously innovative, with new SKU’s, packaging, and flavours driving short-term volume gains in the market. With a media budget less than ½ of 1% of the category spend, and with nothing new to say, we couldn’t outshout our competitors, so we had to find a different way to capture our target’s attention.

The Strategy

Research told us that the children of the Japanese ‘lost decade’ (now actually two decades) have become increasingly distrustful of the large conservative institutions that dominate Japanese life. As corporations have stumbled and governments have fallen, the image of the ‘salaryman’ apologizing at a press conference has become a kind of generational touchstone. ‘Apology Press Conferences’ have become so common that the phrase is now part of the local media vernacular, and the younger generation often reacts to these spectacles with humour - creating memes and online content that celebrates and mocks each failure. So we felt a young irreverent Snickers brand should have some fun in this territory too. We created an irreverent and humourous event that appealed to our younger audience, and then used PR to spread word of the event. Consumer content created from the event was also used in subsequent campaigns to increase local relevance.

Credits

Name Company Position
Yasuyuki Ono Amana Producer
Atsushi Shigegaki Frontier International Producer
Mc Boo Kb.jp Producer
Yosuke Yamauchi I/S Bbdo Strategic Planning Director
Peter Smyth I/S Bbdo Executive Planning Director
Tatsuro Kumaki I/S Bbdo Planner
Sei Sugiyama I/S Bbdo Art Director
Douta Kawai I/S Bbdo Planner/Event Director
Masaki Honda I/S Bbdo Creative Director
Yoshihisa Ogata I/S Bbdo Exective Creative Director