04 November 2016
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Hungry for radio – adapting a successful FMCG campaign to a radio specific format

In this week’s egtabite we would like to highlight a case from Puerto Rico that demonstrates how to adapt an existing marketing concept of a visual FMCG campaign to radio in a unique and medium specific way, while amplifying TV and digital, and building a strong case for radio as an advertising platform.


At egta’s October 2016 Marketing & Sales Meeting in Budapest Pierre Bouvard, Chief Insight Officer from WestwoodOne and Cumulus Media, shared results from a study his company commissioned to examine frequently heard beliefs about consumer media habits among agencies and marketers. The results showed a big discrepancy between clients’ perception of AM/FM radio (its reach, popularity among millennials, share of audience and audio time spent compared to streaming services, share of in-car audio listening, role in optimal media mix, as well as ROI and sales lift potential) and the facts – actual radio outperformance in these areas – to the disadvantage of AM/FM radio image. In order to correct this perceptual challenge and grow revenue, the recommended strategies for radio companies and their sales houses, according to Pierre, include a need for radio to be more energetic in its efforts to change perceptions, romance its clients and spread the word that it is truly the leading mass reach and creative medium. One of the ways to do that is to do “crazy” things with radio as a medium to fully demonstrate its power. A great example of this is the Snickers Radio campaign from Puerto Rico.


Over the past six and a half years, Snickers’ "You’re not you when you’re hungry" campaign has won awards at every major creative gathering, including Cannes Lions, The One Show, D&AD and the Emmys. It has also scooped every major effectiveness award, including two Effectiveness Lions, an IPA gold, and global and local Effies and AME Awards. The logic behind the campaign is that when you’re hungry you’re not on your game - Snickers is the bar of substance that sorts you out. TV was the bedrock medium of the campaign across all markets supported by digital and OOH. TV spots took locally popular celebrities who embodied a certain hunger trait and put them in an out of the character situations. The goal was not to drive simple brand awareness but fame, getting people talking about the brand. Snickers encouraged local markets to adapt the campaign; this provided the flexibility to tailor executions by market, which raised the chances of local awareness but not at the expense of a consistent global story.

Snickers’ global campaign was already making a statement in TV and other mediums like OOH and digital. The challenge was to expand this very visual FMCG campaign through other executions never seen or HEARD before. BBDO Puerto Rico decided to face the challenge and demonstrate the effect hunger can have over the radio.

Everyone knows that hunger can have its horrible consequences - so what happens when the DJ of your favourite radio station is hungry? They mess up the programming.

Click on the image to enlarge

The most popular breakfast DJs from 37 radio stations started to play out-of-character music at the same time of the day. For example, rock stations would start playing salsa, salsa stations would start playing rock, and reggaetón stations would start playing opera until an announcer stepped in with a personalized message to clear the confusion and reveal that the DJ was clearly hungry and needed a Snickers. Once the message aired, stations went back to their usual programming. This campaign activity reached more than 3.2 million people and created a great buzz and response from the public. It also received several radio awards including silver from LIA.

Why does this matter to egta members?

One the most common misconceptions about audio as a format are the creative limitations when adapting a very visual marketing concept. This frequently occurs with FMCG clients who wish to visualise their product in a campaign. Agencies rarely go the extra step of considering an audio specific version of the campaign, adjusted to the medium, and stick with TV and other visual media. The Snickers example showcases how a successful TV and digital campaign can be transferred to radio thanks to a creative concept and audio specific approach.

Radio has a great tool available to fight misconceptions and prove its strengths – itself. Using the medium, the on-air personalities, the image of the radio brand allows the development of unique and medium specific campaigns such as this case for Snickers.

Target: Radio
Background info

Please click on the links below to access the relevant documents:

» Video (please click here)

» More about the campaign (please click here)

» Pierre Bouvard's presentation (please click here; available for egta members only - login required)

Download in PDF

Please click here to download the PDF version of this egtabite.

Next events

EAG 48 - European Affairs Group
(TV & Radio)

17 November 2016
Brussels, Belgium

Register here

egta Market Intelligence Meeting (TV & Radio)

2 February, 2017
Rome, Italy

Register here