For ages and ages we've been hearing a certain sector of (smart) marketers incant a mantra about the need for brands to produce less advertising and more things that people can actually use. Help people solve a problem, entertain them, or get the hell out of the way. It's an attractive appeal, and yet the general rule that states 90% of all advertising gives us mind rabies still stands. But! This week we have two examples of creative marketing-as-consumer service annnnd they involve chocolate bars and TV. Maybe there is some hope after all. Onward!
What: A "hunger algorithm" that monitors the mood of the Internet, and then lowers Snickers' prices accordingly. The angrier people get, the cheaper the candy bars get, with prices updating more than 140 times a day and dropping to as low as 82% off the normal shelf price. All Aussie Snickers fans need to do is get a unique barcode from Snickers.com.au and get that discount chocolate, peanut, nougat, and caramel goodness at Australian 7-11 stores.
Who: Snickers, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
Why We Care: A digital tool to fight the hangry? Yes, please. Built on a 3,000-word lexicon, the "Hungerithm" gauges the general mood online by analyzing about 14,000 social posts a day, taking into consideration slang, sarcasm, and variations in context. The worse the mood, the cheaper the Snickers. It's like the inverse of Uber price surging for delicious candy bars. Oh, sweet, sweet tasty anger.
What: The most honest approach to teen marketing you'll see all week. Or maybe ever.
Who: Clearasil, Droga5
Why We Care: Bruh, you know when brands try to get woke and talk to teens in their own fire language? Exactly. All the worst assumptions about marketers' approach to teens—the focus-grouped opinions, the woefully out-of-touch boardrooms, the over-the-top cliches—come to life. And it's honesty at its best.
What: A pair of rings that connect to Netflix and other streaming services, and use near-field communication technology to block your favorite shows unless your significant other is nearby.
Why We Care: Netflix adultery is real and it's about time we had the tools to fight our worst entertainment instincts. Ever sit on the couch and wonder why your partner isn't as surprised, shocked, or scared at a key moment in your favorite show? Did they watch ahead of you? The question keeps you up at night, wondering if her dentist appointment last week was real, or if he really had some work to do in the other room with the iPad. As an answer, Cornetto serves up a genius piece of marketing service.
What: A virtual yearbook for young victims of gun violence, to serve as both a reminder of the lives they'll never lead, and a petition to help prevent more students from joining this particular class.
Who: New Yorkers Against Gun Violence
Why We Care: This expertly utilizes the insight that names and faces are more powerful than numbers, and here we are confronted with some of the names and faces behind the more than 30,000 young Americans that have died due to gun violence over the last 15 years.
What: A branded look at the declining bee population, and its impact on the world, through the work of Paulo De Souza, chief executive science leader of Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).
Who: Intel, Intel Global Production Labs
Why We Care: The Earth's dying bee situation is still happening. It's not the first time a brand has used its marketing budget to address the problem—Honey Nut Cheerios and Haagen Daz, among them—but it is one of the more interesting and, frankly, real looks at the search for a solution. Like De Souza says, "This is not about bees or microchips or technology—this is about the future of our planet."
It's part of the brand's "Experience Amazing" series, created by its growing in-house creative production studio. The only downside, given the quality of the production and complexity of the subject matter, is that it isn't longer.