Nostalgia is the perfect antidote to troubling times, and Mars has responded to that sentiment by bringing back one of the most missed confectionary items of the past few decades. Yes, the Marathon bar has returned. Temporarily, at least.
For anyone who doesn't recall a time before the currently confectionary line-up, Marathon is the old branding for Snickers – the peanut/caramel/nougat chocolate sensation. Snickers became Snickers way back in 1990, in order to bring global consistency to the Snickers bar (see the advert announcing the name change below). The rebrand kept a lot of the previous design elements (which are as standout as these examples of packaging design), but the name change is one of the most lamented in UK branding history.
As the eagle-eyed among you will realise, to remember the Marathon bar doesn't actually require recalling a soundtrack of Sinead O'Connor's Nothing Compares 2U, or how it felt to first see Baywatch on a UK television. Because Marathon did actually make a comeback more recently. Last year, in fact – for a similar three month stint in selected stores.
"It’s clear that after nearly 30 years away, people loved the return of the Marathon bar last year," said David Manzini (opens in new tab), general manager at Mars Wrigley UK. "When the British public speaks, we always aim to deliver!"
It's fair to say the stunt was a resounding success, and this drive goes one step further with single bars now available, rather than just multi-packs of four. Marathon bars will be available (in Morrisons and McColls) for another three months, so start stockpiling now and you could live in a pre-1990s chocolate world for a lot longer.
We can't help but question the potency of a nostalgia hit when it returns frequently so we're kind of hoping this rebrand doesn't turn into a yearly event, in case the novelty starts to wear off. Plus, nostalgia/irritating is a tricky balance to strike (as the brands in this post found out). But as this is the perfect time for a moment of nostalgia, and since we haven't seen them since 2008, we're wondering if we could have Opal Fruits next?