Marianne Calnan
Jun 25, 2024

Snickers creates AI-generated José Mourinho for personalised messages

Participants can share their unique videos on social media, and there’s a 50% discount on Snickers for those who join the activation.

Snickers: José Mourinho activity will run via the brand's website
Snickers: José Mourinho activity will run via the brand's website

Snickers has developed an AI tool that will produce personalised messages from football manager José Mourinho as part of an extension of its "Own goals" campaign.

"Mourinho’s own goal no-nos", which will be available from today (25 June) on the Snickers website, allows people to input details of occasions when they or friends have “messed up”. The details will then generate a personalised message from an AI-generated Mourinho.

The Mars-owned brand, which claims this is the first time the tech has been used in an ad campaign in this way, has worked with creative agency of record T&Pm alongside production company Helo and Meta to create the tool.

The website for the activation is integrated with WhatsApp but messages can also be shared on social media. Each bespoke clip uses AI technology from ElevenLabs, Synclabs and Open AI GPT 4.0.

The move follows Snickers featuring international football stars Bukayo Saka and Luka Modrić in its “Own goals” ads in March. These films portrayed the footballers helping fans steer clear of scoring "own goals" such as missing crucial moments in a match.

The activation is being promoted by posts from influencers on social media, who will share and react to their unique video, as well as paid and organic social media work. Participants will also be encouraged to share links to their videos with their friends and on group chats.

There are also safety features to ensure people create “consistently entertaining and brand-safe original content”, Mars said.

The tool was teased with videos on both Snickers’ and Mourinho’s social media profiles during the Champions League Final and in the build-up to Euro 2024.

The work is part of Mars Wrigley’s strategy of putting personalisation and fandom at the heart of its ads for Snickers, as well as involving fans in the co-creation process, to help develop a stronger relationship with them.

Anyone who participates in the activation will also receive a 50% discount on a bar of Snickers.

Rankin Carroll, chief brand officer for Mars Wrigley, told Campaign the work “brings engagement to a personalised level. There are endless possibilities of responses and we’re expecting hundreds of thousands of requests.”

Carroll said “engaging with AI is important” as it gives people “the opportunity to create bespoke responses with endless possibilities. But you have to use it safely and we’re very focused on that.”

He said other celebrities Mars was considering collaborating with for the activation were “understandably nervous” about using AI. “But with a responsible approach and the right talent, we’re committed to bringing the tech forward to more campaigns to enrich consumer engagement with Mars, while always maintaining our brand story,” Caroll said.

The media agency for the campaign was EssenceMediacom.

Gülen Bengi, chief growth officer, Mars snacking, and lead chief marketing officer at Mars, said: “At Mars, we believe in building brand worlds where iconic brands create remarkable experiences for their fans and communities inviting them to engage and co-create together; aways at the centre of culture, always moving at the speed of technology. 

“Our first-of-its-kind Snickers campaign stands as a testament to this, delivering consumer co-creation and personalisation at a scale that was unimaginable until very recently, before GenAI became part of our toolbox. As we navigate this new frontier of AI-enhanced brand building, it's crucial that we keep a pioneering mindset tempered by caution, always putting safety and ethics first."

Documentary director Kyle Ruddick was the director and AI lead engineer for the project.

Toby Allen, chief creative officer at T&Pm, said: "This campaign [has] innovation at its heart. Using AI to create mass personalised entertainment in a way that has never been done before and could never have been done before. All made possible with human intelligence; a team of over 70 people worked together.”

Campaign UK

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