Why is Snickers America’s favorite candy?

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If you’ve ever given out Halloween candy, you know that children express very specific preferences for their favorite brands – your Smarties probably won’t disappear as fast as the chocolate bars. This year, the honor of being America’s favorite candy goes to Snickers.

Previously, M&Ms was first with Trident close behind, but Snickers has beat out both this year, taking the top spot. How exactly did Snickers get there?

With new advertisements featuring celebrities, as well as various public relations campaigns, Snickers was able to grab the attention of candy lovers across the country. While Snickers’ advertisements were funny and engaging, paired with a few clever public relations campaigns, the brand revealed itself as both amusing and philanthropic.

Back in 2011, Snickers introduced the “Bar Hunger” campaign. The goal of the campaign was to raise money for Feeding America. To kick off the campaign, David Arquette promoted the event through social media and talk shows. On specially-marked bars of Snickers, there were barcodes that could be entered online or by text message. For every barcode sent in, Snickers donated two meals to Feeding America. In 2011 alone, Snickers was able to donate 3,500,000 meals through its campaign.

This year, Snickers teamed up with Google in another creative public relations stunt. Playing on the idea that workers who are hungry can’t work efficiently, Snickers took the 500 most misspelled search terms on Google and bought ads based on those search terms. Anytime one of the misspelled words was typed in Google, an ad would appear that said, “Grab yourself a Snikkers, “because “Yu cant spel properlie wen hungrie”.

These public relations campaigns branded Snickers in a positive light and helped the brand surpass its competitors as the top candy brand this year. Just like Snickers, you can also add some ingredients for branding success.

An effective PR campaign first includes education of a problem. Snickers chose to educate the public on hunger and poverty in America. The next step is alignment with a good cause, such as Snickers did with Feeding America. There also needs to be a giveaway, which Snickers orchestrated by driving a branded van around metropolitan areas handing out free Snickers bars. The result of this free giveaway ultimately resulted in giving food to hungry families. The final and most important ingredient is a call to action. Snickers invited customers to join them in feeding the hungry by texting or posting through social media the barcode on the wrapper. The call to action not only helps a good cause, but also has customers engaging with a brand and being part of the solution.

Snickers, while delicious, didn’t get to the top by its ingredients alone. The PR team behind this brand helped to make Snickers a brand with humanity. One that welcomes mistakes. One that has a heart to feed the poor. One that resonates with people who want to make a difference!

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