Of chocolate and dogs

Some years ago Mars decided its international brands were now streamlined enough for the same names to be used in different countries. They had the big brand Mars, but also Snickers & Marathon (one and the same product, the chocolate bar with peanuts) and Twix & Raider (also the same product, two thin bars with caramel and biscuit) …

German website screenshot

The only question was: Which names to use? Well the Brits had a major problem with Snickers. This word is like the English slang word for underpants: knickers. But they had to give in to international pressure as Snickers was already in use in so many other countries. Much to the amusement and confusion of a generation of peanut chocolate munchers in the UK.

Almost as a trade-off – but actually decided above their heads in the States – Raider in Germany and many other countries became Twix. One way to solve international branding problems.

But of course the Mars Corporation has more than its classic confectionery like Mars (plugged for years in the UK with “A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play” until in 2002 the authorities put the company under pressure as the claim could not actually be substantiated. Current UK slogan: “Another way to make your day”).

For instance:

frolic.jpgGerman website screenshot

I think you’ll understand why the Mars Corporation (in Europe probably more commonly known as Masterfoods) is keen to minimise the overlaps between its chocolates and the Pedigree Petfoods division (and brands like Uncle Ben’s) . They’re families for historical reasons, but only very distantly relatives.

You’ll be pleased to know the chocolate and pet food factories are totally different facilities.

Sadly for Mars however, for legal reasons the company still has to own up to its true pedigree on many marketing communications (see above), though clearly it’s not something it barks out from the rooftops!

Alex Woodruff

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