I came across this the other day. Kenny G and his trusty instrument sending himself up in a new Snickers ad in the USA.
The penny dropped and it made me realise that this campaign was being customised on a market by market basis. The Yanks get Kenny G and we get Joan Collins.
The Aussies get Ray Meagher ["Alf" from Home and Away for those of you who didn't spend their student days watching tosh on the telly]
From watching these it's clear that the campaign is simple and flexible enough to easily work across different markets. There a core thought for the message that leaves enough wiggle room to add value by finding the right "local" celeb and scenario to act as the centrepiece. All well and good.
Normally, I'm a fan of companies doing something bespoke for individual markets if budgets allow. It can avoid the dumbing down and dilution of any communication whilst giving a creative team freedom to explore something specifically tailored to the sensibilities of a particular audience.
In this instance though, I can't help feeling that overall effect is far less rather than more than the sum of its parts. Maybe it's the writing, maybe it's the casting, maybe it's the direction, maybe it's just that the incongruity of a celeb in an unusual setting isn't radical or funny enough. Either way, there's just something about these ads that make them feel lacking in ambition and scale. They're all just a bit "meh" in my view.
Sometimes it's better to pool resources and do something big and bold that has universal appeal. In fact, contrast this campaign with the previous Mr T ads for Snickers.
The strategy doesn't really same that different, Snickers comes across a hearty , but the execution just feels more confident, bolder, more effortlessly irreverent and they just seem far funnier and bang on for the audience in all the aforementioned countries [as far as I know the Mr T ad ran in the US].
I'm obviously unaware of the reasons why this approach was eventually jettisoned but I'm surprised that Mars reverted back to country specific ads after running something like that which cut through like a bastard [technical Millward Brown phrase].
Anyway, I might well be in a minority but these ads demonstrate that sometimes Think Global, Act Local is not always the best thing to do.