Snickers’ experiential billboard offers a nasty surprise


Shock can be a powerful tool for experiential marketing campaigns.

Used effectively, shock and surprise can be a great way to catch attention and create a memorable experience.


Over the last few months, we’ve seen some inspiring examples of brands using shock tactics to bring home a message. Disney’s fun and magical Mat Hatter billboard and PETA’s gruesome pop-up shop (viewer discretion strongly advised) are two recent campaigns that have used surprise to elicit very different responses from consumers.

Confectionary giant Snickers recently followed in their footsteps by creating a fun and light-hearted campaign which perfectly combined surprise with technology.  


In a simple but eye-catching spot of outdoor marketing, the brand set up a digital billboard in New York City displaying a moving image of Marilyn Monroe. Paired with Snickers’ well-known tagline – ‘you’re not you when you’re hungry’ – the screen displayed the iconic scene of Marilyn Monroe’s subway grate moment from 1955 hit movie The Seven Year Itch.

But all was not as it first seemed. With the help of facial recognition technology, the billboard was able to detect when passers-by stopped to stare at Monroe’s cheeky clip. Those people who were caught staring a little too intensely received a very big surprise

Check out the video here to see what happened.


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Author bio


With nearly 30 years of marketing experience, both client and agency side, I’ve acquired a rare perspective on brands and business: I believe you have to challenge things creatively if you want to grow sales. Consumer technology is reshaping our world, and it’s only the great brands that stay on the crest.