Snickers kicks off NFL season with a hunt for ‘rookie mistakes’

    • Snickers, owned by Mars, is bringing back its “Rookie Mistake of the Year” program in time for this year’s NFL season, per a press release.
    • The program, which debuted in 2021, encourages fans to submit their “rookie mistake” to the candy bar maker. Players including Stefon Diggs and Najee Harris will recreate some mistakes in videos on Snickers properties during the NFL season. Participants will have a chance to win prizes, including tickets to Super Bowl LVII in Arizona.
    • Newly released Snickers packaging features a QR code that directs consumers to a link to submit their mistakes. Later in the season, the QR code will also unlock an augmented reality (AR) activation featuring Buffalo Bills wide receiver Diggs.

    Snickers, the official chocolate bar sponsor of the NFL, is focusing on fan engagement this season while also turning the spotlight on players. The return of the “Rookie Mistake of the Year” campaign reflects the need for fan-generated content and arrives amid shifting priorities for a broad range of NFL advertisers.

    This year’s “Rookie Mistake of the Year” program includes a QR code activation that, later in the year, will drive consumers to an AR experience featuring a “magic football.” Functioning like the fortune-telling Magic 8-ball toy, the football will give fans the opportunity to submit their own mistakes or ask Diggs a question.

    While the QR code makes it easy for consumers to engage with the brand, a recently released 35-second video provides entertainment. In the video, Diggs talks to a couple in a car as they listen to an exciting football game on the radio. The couple, who were at the game, decided to leave early to avoid traffic, missing the big moment. In a riff on Snickers’ popular “You’re not you when you’re hungry” campaign, Diggs implies eating the candy bar could have prevented the mistake.

    The “Rookie Mistake of the Year” program is a change from the candy bar’s previous NFL initiative, the “Hungriest Player” program, which focused heavily on players by rewarding exceptional on-field performances with a chain bearing the Snickers logo. “Rookie Mistake of the Year” put a bigger focus on fans while also bringing attention to fan-favorite players. 


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