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Snickers and Mr. T: Offensive or Funny?

Brandt Conner, Ohio University , Craig Davis, Ohio University, Nakato Hirakubo, Brooklyn College, Victoria LaPoe, Ohio University, Cara Peters, Winthrop University
August 28, 2019
SKU:
BUS-005797
Region: 
Europe, North America
Topic: 
Marketing & Sales, Ethics & Social Justice
Length: 
2 pages
Keywords: 
Advertising ethics, advertising regulation, global and international advertising
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.61)
Average rating: 
0
Abstract Mars Inc., the parent company that owned and marketed Snickers chocolate candy launched an advertising campaign featuring the celebrity Mr. T.  The campaign slogan, “Get Some Nuts,” was created by Abbot Mead Vickers BBDO, an Omnicom-owned UK agency that aired three 30-second spots Soccer Game, Speed Walker, and Swimming Pool.  Mars Inc., discontinued the Speed Walker television spot in the U.K. because people in the U.S. felt the commercial was insulting.  From a learning perspective, this critical incident places the student in a decision-making role of judging if this was the best decision under the circumstances.  The critical incident illustrates the conundrum marketers face with the need for brands to maintain a consistently positive image on a global scale. The critical incident also illustrates the fine line advertisers walk in not offending an audience segment with humor.