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Snickers Hungerithm

In the mood for a Snickers bar? Better hope the internet is in a lousy mood. Because then you might score a coupon to get a Snickers on the cheap.

In a clever marketing campaign currently under way in Australia, and soon to roll out worldwide, Snickers maker Mars is offering coupons based on the mood of the internet. The worse the mood, the better the coupons.

It works by using something that Snickers is calling the “Hungerithm”. A custom-made algorithm scans thousands of social media posts, looking for any of about 3,000 key words that convey users’ emotions. Throughout the day, the Hungerithm constantly gauges the collective mood, to determine just how angry the internet is. And an angry internet results in cheaper Snickers – up to 80% off the regular price, if the mood gets really, really bad.

It’s a play off of Snickers’ “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” tagline. Their hope is that a coupon for Snickers will help ease all the anger and put people in a better mood.

To participate – or just to check it out, if you don’t happen to live in Australia – you can visit Snickers.com.au to launch the Hungerithm. A display will show you the current and previous moods of the internet, in ten-minute intervals, along with the corresponding value of the coupon being offered. If the current mood is bad (descriptions include “the internet is furious,” “the internet is losing it” and “the internet is freaking out”), and the coupon value looks good to you, you can choose to activate the offer on a mobile device. You’ll be presented with a bar code that must be used within the hour at an Australian 7-Eleven convenience store. Then, with calming candy in hand, you can “get back to being you,” the Hungerithm promises.

“Considering how quickly the internet can swing from a place of sharing and enlightenment to one of incredible vitriol, we felt this was the perfect way to bring the ‘You’re Not You When You’re Hungry’ platform to life,” said Ant Keogh, the executive creative director for ad agency Clemenger BBDO Melbourne. “We’re hoping this shows consumers that Snickers is on their side during trying times,” added the brand’s marketing manager Renee Lewington.

You’ve got to hand it to the Australians, for being clever with their coupon campaigns. The Hungerithm comes right on the heels of a flavored milk company’s offer in March, which it promoted as the “world’s quickest coupon”. The coupon would pop up on Snapchat for exactly one second – and if you didn’t act fast enough, you’d miss it.

There are no plans to bring that campaign to our shores. But Snickers does hope to give you a chance to earn coupons with the Hungerithm. The campaign runs through the end of June in Australia, then the company plans to take it worldwide next year.

So, you’d better hope people’s moods don’t improve too much before then, or you might miss out on some cheap Snickers. Because nothing sours a mood like having to pay full price for candy.

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