Have you seen the Snicker’s Peanut Butter & Chocolate Squares commercial? The one with the focus group comprised of Sharks. Sharks that are sitting in a conference room, speaking English and comparing tasty humans? (it’s below if you haven’t seen it yet)
It’s a brilliant commercial. First off, it is clearly eye catching and in this age of short attention span theater that either requires or is created by (or a bit of both) quick and flashy advertising, it works. It parodies itself and the concept of “commercial” with a common advertising scenario – focus groups. And it’s also winning in using anthropomorphism – a common go-to or “crutch” in commercials. (If you don’t agree with that last comment, watch the “winning” Super Bowl Commercials and then tell me I’m wrong.)
But what I love (and mayhap fear a little about it) is how it portrays the advertising industry and large corporations. In the spot, the premise is that Snickers is using a focus group to test how great it’s product is, and they test it by FEEDING THEIR HUMAN CUSTOMERS TO SHARKS. And not just sharks (as if “just sharks” is a phrase that should ever be used), but sharks that live on dry land and who speak … english – so, yes, these sharks are MONSTERS (or lawyers or agents or … well, you can fill in whatever snarky sharky comment you like). It’s funny, it’s clever, it’s downright frightening. As if to say “we will maximize profits any way we can, and yes that may include feeding you to monsters, and yes we will do it in a way that is entertaining to you, so eat up.”
I know, I know, it’s a commercial. And I know that I am in danger of becoming a rambling, crazy old man with nothing better to do than rage against the machine. But what’s more frightening: that Snicker’s doesn’t realize that this campaign can be construed this way; or that they intended it to be construed this way?
I don’t know the answer. It’s great commercial. It’s a clever commercial. And it is not, methinks, particularly untrue.
Eat up America. Eat up.