SNICKERS® Brazil sparked a lively debate about the meanings of the word “football” during the most important match in the United States’ national football championship – for which, it should be said, Brazilians are the second-largest audience outside the U.S. The spot also spoke to fans, reinforcing the global concept “You’re not you when you’re hungry.”
It all started when the hashtag #FutebolSQN [“It’s not soccer”] was launched on the land of soccer, Brazil, led to the following question: why use the word “football” for a sport that’s played with your hands, and not with your feet [“foot”], and which uses an oval object instead of a round one [“ball”]? It started sweeping across social media on the day of the hotly awaited match. Like most of the countries around the world, brazilians also call soccer as football [“futebol”].
The topic got heated up as influencers and sports celebrities like Ronaldo Nazário chipped in their two cents. The hashtag soon spread across the internet and hit Brazil’s Trending Topics and was even observed and commented on by local sports programs.
The stunt was finally revealed during the commercial breaks of the game, aired on ESPN Brasil, with sketches featuring comedian Mauricio Meirelles. To follow SNICKERS®’ global stance that “You’re not you when you’re hungry,” the only reasonable explanation for the name can be hunger-induced confusion! The agency behind the campaign is AlmapBBDO.
Tell us about your role in the creation of this work.
My name is Fernando Duarte and I was the copywriter behind it, alongside my partner, Henrique Del Lama, who did the art direction. We came up with the insight about how odd it is to call American football "football," especially in Brazil, where the real football is the most popular sport and an important part of our national identity.
Give us an overview of the campaign, what is it about?
Football is really big in Brazil, and American football is getting more and more popular. But somehow the name of the sport feels wrong. The ball isn't really a ball – it's shaped more like an olive – and it’s rarely in contact with the players' feet. So, as the country with the most World Cup wins, we felt that we could say a thing or two about this odd choice of a name. To us, calling this sport football is something that you wouldn’t do if you were in your right mind. And like Snickers always says, “You are not you when you are hungry."
How is this Super Bowl brief different from the usual brief?
It wasn’t exactly a brief, but rather an opportunity that the agency found and the client took a gamble on. But, let’s face it, this is the Super Bowl in Brazil, where the airing costs are way lower than the $5 million per 30 second spot. WAY, WAY, LOWER. Even so, we can joke about how we’ve fulfilled our dream of creating Super Bowl ads.
Can you share your favorite behind-the-scenes moment with us?
One of the funniest parts of the process was creating new names for the sport to see if people would understand them. It was also fun to sell the client on the idea that a lot of Super Bowl ads had celebrities, so we needed one as well. A local one, but a celebrity all the same.
What was the greatest challenge that you and your team faced during development?
Backlash. In the US, SNICKERS is a classic sponsor of the NFL, and in Brazil we’re making fun of it. The client was very brave to approve and air it.
What did you enjoy most about seeing this campaign through? Did you learn anything new from the experience?
In Brazil it’s not really common to create single-air ads, but in this case made perfect sense. So it was fun to see the impact it had on the viewers in real time, and how it sparked a conversation. It even became a Trending Topic in Brazil, where ads usually don’t.
What is your favorite Super Bowl ad of all time?
It’s really hard to pick just one, but if I had to I'd go with Pytka’s Pepsi - Security Camera.