The latest Snickers campaign, “Rap battle” by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, takes place at a barbeque in Compton, Los Angeles. As one lyrical combatant finishes his performance, an expectant crowd turns towards his competitor, only to find Elton John, singing a version of his 1976 hit Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.
After being urged to eat Snickers bar by his crew, Elton is transformed into up-and-coming West Coast rapper Boogie – in real life signed to Eminem’s Shady Records – who is able to complete a retort to his hip-hop adversary.
As well as 60-, 30- and 15-second TV spots, the campaign includes social media content to target younger, more mobile-centric audiences, as well as PR activity. The advertisement coincides with the upcoming launch of Boogie’s debut album, and Elton’s global farewell tour.
“Rap battle” was written by Neil Clarke with art direction by Jay Phillips, and directed by Andreas Nilsson through production company Biscuit Filmworks. Media planning and buying was by MediaCom.
“Most people already know I’ve long been an advocate of hip hop and that’s why I wanted be a part of this – I got to hang out with Boogie and some great hip hop talent from the UK too,” said Elton. “Moreover, I love the direction the new Snickers ads have humorously portrayed being off your game when you’re hungry, but in a way that’s current and relevant to young people, especially considering hip hop is one of the biggest music genres in the world today.”
“Building on the ‘You’re Not You When You’re Hungry’ theme, which has connected so well with consumers, we’re glad to see this latest installment take the story a step further, said Dale Green, Snickers Global Brand Director. “When we developed the rap battle concept, we knew Elton John would be the perfect fit to help bring this to life. His unique blend of music, style and humour is instantly recognisable around the world and works well with our Snickers brand.”
Boogie remarked: “Working with Elton on the set of the new Snickers ad was everything I expected and more – he’s generous with his time, funny and fantastically talented! Between him and fresh new hip hop talent like Femi Nylander, Emarr Kuhomano and Monique Lawz – it was an incredible coming together of multi-talented people.”
The campaign kicks off internationally, including in the US and UK, on Saturday, the first of September.