INTERACTIVE: CASE STUDY/SNICKERS; Mars takes a walk on the wild side as Snickers gets wacky on the Net

Mairi Clark finds out what Mars has done to create a football-themed Snickers site with user involvement

Mairi Clark finds out what Mars has done to create a football-themed

Snickers site with user involvement

The Snickers site, MegaBite (, is Mars’s first serious

attempt to get known on the Internet. Apart from the Snickers site, its

only other UK presence is for Pedigree Petfoods.

Recent above-the-line advertising for Mars doesn’t seem to have

stretched much beyond some new TV work featuring a building site and a

football crowd creating a Mexican wave. Add that to some fairly standard

press work and you come up with a staid, if quality, portfolio. Nothing

remotely as ground-breaking as Tango.

So is MegaBite the first sign of something more radical stirring within

Mars? The concept of targeting 13- to 24-year-old men with a site mainly

dedicated to football is reasonably obvious when you consider Snickers’

involvement with FIFA and its sponsorship of the Euro ’96 championship.

But there’s more to it than just football. Ultimately, 90 per cent of

the site will be given over to user control. At the moment, Megabite has

about 300 pages of trivia, with some football info and movie gossip

thrown in, but Mars has plans to have 2,000 pages by the end of 1996.

Users are asked to send in suggestions for future inclusion in the site,

and it currently runs review pages for travel and films. There is a

Snickers history page, with information on Snickers bars and recipes

for, among others, Snickers Al Fresco - made simply by ‘taking your

Snickers bar outside’. So far, the response has been good, with more

than 10,000 users replying in the first week.

The most popular aspect is likely to be the ‘penalty shoot-out’. Users

are asked to guess where in the goal a football will end up and where it

should end up to guarantee a goal. If you score three goals in a row,

you win a Snickers football. But it’s not that easy: to enter any of the

competitions, you have to fill in a questionnaire listing your age, e-

mail address and answer a tie-breaker question.

Gordon Storey, the external relations manager at Mars, says: ‘We see the

Internet as a forum for opinion and we want to understand how it works.

We want Snickers to be a brand for the youth market, to be street

credible, fun and irreverent. The Internet gave us the best chance to do


The site has been designed by the new-media agency, Hyperinteractive,

which won the pounds 300,000 account after a pitch orchestrated by

Snickers’ agency, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. It takes advantage of new

technology to download in a reasonably speedy 30 seconds. As Felix

Velarde, a director of Hyperinteractive, explains: ‘Image compression is

one of our strengths and we have applied image compression routines that

make the site a lot quicker to load.’

Hopefully a US version will open soon. It is being developed by Magnet

Interactive, an American company, with input from AMV.

MegaBite is an informative site, with high entertainment value and is

well worth a visit. And yes, it does indicate a slight shift towards a

hipper strategy for Snickers. As Storey says: ‘The site represents where

we want Snickers to be. It’s consistent with our brand strategy. We want

it to be more wacky.’

Become a member of Campaign from just £45 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content


1 Why creative people have lost their way

What better way to kick off Campaign's relaunch than with another think piece on the current failings of our industry, written by an embittered, pretentious creative who misses "the way things used to be"...


1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).