As a Canadian, I thought I was fitting to blog about something “Olympic” today, with it being the opening day of the Vancouver Olympics.
Yes, there’s been a lot of hype and excitement building up to the big day – whether it is about the athletes, the venue, the weather, and the sponsors. They’re all intriguing, but I have to say that what really intrigued me was a bold branding move on the part of Snickers Bar. It’s been very low profile from what I can tell, but this is how I learned about the temporary re-naming of the Snickers Bar (in Canada anyways) to the “Believe” bar.
Last week as I was waiting in line at my grocery store, the display by the cash register caught my eye – of course it was the candy display. I noticed that several of the items were on sale, and with it being the weekend, I figured it was the right time to treat my husband and myself to our favourite chocolate bars – Mars Bar for me and Snickers Bar for him. As luck would have it, the Mars Bar was one of those sale items, but I had to search a little bit more to find the Snickers Bar – because although the look and feel of the packaging was very similar to what I’ve been used to it wasn’t quite the same – and the name seemed to be different – so I was unsure. What I was seeing on the packaging was “Believe” instead of Snickers. That prompted me to pick it up and take a closer look, at which time I confirmed that it was in fact a Snickers Bar, but re-named Believe, with a small Snickers logo above the Believe logo to show the connection back to the “real” brand. I looked some more and saw the Canadian Olympic Hockey Team logo to the right of the “new” Believe name, and to the left the “Fuel for the Gold” tagline. Ah-ha…it was a Snickers Bar, but re-branded to support the Olympics, and specifically the Canadian Olympic Hockey Team – “Snicker Believes in me”. I thought this was a very bold move on their part.
After I got home I did a bit of digging around online and confirmed that this was special edition packaging for the Olympics, and would also be included in the athlete’s swag bags. I guess I was a bit surprised that it wasn’t being promoted more – at least from what I’d been seeing and hearing. One of the interesting things I discovered in the process was that this wasn’t the first time the company had done this. In 2006 the Mars Bar was re-named “Believe” in the U.K. to support England’s team in the World Cup that year, and then reverted back to the Mars Bar name. So I guess there’s experience and precedence for this – and presumably success – which gave them the confidence to try the same move with another of their flagship candy bars – using the same “Believe” name – but on another continent.
I guess we’ll have to wait to see how successful this move was for the Snickers Bar….but clearly they “Believe” and have chosen to make a bold statement with it. Good for them!