Snickers- “You’re not you when you’re hungry”


The Snickers candy bar company is notorious for their comedic  advertising, especially since their advertisement during Super Bowl XLIV (44), starring Betty White and Abe Vigoda. The commercial shows men (possibly in their twenties) playing football outdoors at a park. All of the sudden, Betty White, an eighty-eight year old woman, shuffles her way across the screen alongside the younger men playing football. When she goes for the catch, she gets pummeled into the mud. The guys on the team are disappointed in Betty, referring to her as “Mike,” and claiming that she is, “playing like Betty White out there.” Betty White comes back saying, “That’s not what your girlfriend says.”

At this moment, the commercial takes a turn. We see Betty’s (or Mike’s) girlfriend hand him a Snickers and order him to eat it. When the camera goes back to what was Betty, it is now a man in his twenties, like the other men. Mike realizes that the Snickers is exactly what he needed to feel energized and get open for the next pass. However, the quarterback must be in need of a Snickers because he is then represented by Abe Vigoda, who is eighty-nine years old, and gets tackled into the ground.

After Abe Vigoda gets tackled, there is a flat brown screen that reads, “You’re not you when you’re hungry.” Many people do not want to be anyone but themselves, and there is often a fear of being too much like someone else. It is very funny that someone would compare men in their twenties to Betty White or Abe Vigoda, but the general population does not want to feel that they are in their late eighties when they are in their twenties. Snickers wants to make sure that their candy bar is what gets eaten whenever people are hungry.

Another Snickers commercial that uses the same concept of a celebrity embodying a younger man is the car ride commercial, starring Aretha Franklin. While the last commercial was based on the idea that people run out of energy when they are hungry, this commercial runs on the belief that people get cranky when they have not eaten. In the backseat, the character “Jeff” becomes a diva because he is hungry, demanding that the air conditioning be turned up and smacks his friend in the head when he tells Jeff that the air conditioning is on. This entire time, Aretha Franklin, a world-renowned  celebrity, singer, and diva plays the role of Jeff.

His friends plead that he eats a Snickers in order to stop being cranky and so that the friends in the car can “coexist.” When Jeff bites into the Snickers bar, he turns back into the younger man that was trapped inside of the diva. Jeff claims to be all better, but then his friend, who turned into Liza Minnelli, complains about Jeff’s knees being in the back of his seat. At this time, everyone in the car knows that their friend in the passenger seat has now turned into the cranky diva.

No one likes to be cranky, and no one likes cranky people. Snickers’ advertisements using these celebrities to take the place of everyday people is very funny and clever, and for the general public, funny and sex sells. This commercial, like the last, ends with the saying, “You’re not you when you’re hungry,” further installing the need for Snickers into American minds.


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