Snickers Pulls 'Kiss' Website, Sales May Drop
Apparently, the backlash over the Snickers Super Bowl commercial in which two men end up kissing after eating a Snickers bar from opposite ends was too much for the company to take and, as a result, the candy maker has taken down the commercial's accompanying website, afterthekiss.com. Typing in the URL simply redirects to the Snickers site.
While we liked this spot purely for its shock value, there's a faintly high probability this will have a very real negative affect on sales. Can you imagine the looks one will now receive from the checkout clerk when they buy a Snickers bar? That's just way too much snickering for most people to take and there's plenty of other perfectly good candy choices with far less embarrassment attached to them.
This just might be one of the most powerful Super Bowl spots ever to have run. Powerful, of course, in a very negative way harming the brand's sales significantly. Beware all you hipster creatives who think your ivory tower, insider coolness will be welcomed by all. Hardly. Remember, there's a whole lot more people living outside your world that in.
Somewhere along the line, this industry forgot that Super Bowl ads still need to accomplish what advertising is meant to do: sell. It's perfectly fine for advertising to go for the laugh, the tear, the shudder but it still has to sell or else it's all a pointless waste of money. It's too bad that many in the industry creating ads have forgotten that and have put too much effort into the creation of entertainment at the expense of advertising primary function: to aid in the movement of product from manufacturer to consumer.
The Snickers ad did accomplish something though. It just might be the first Super Bowl ad in recent memory to reverse the process and halt sales versus increase them.
One can debate (and many are) whether or not the spot, itself, or the reaction to it is homophobic or whether it was just an innocent play on "manliness" but that's not the point. It's an ad that, for whatever reason, has turned many people off of the brand and planted a negative association. That's the worst thing that can happen to a brand and the road to recovery might take some time. Or, like so many important incidents that occur in this country, people will forget within a week and go back to their normal routines with nary a snicker.
UPDATE: One commenter brings up a very relevant point. Had this ad featured two women, we'd all be drooling over it and loving it. The double standard lives on.