Marathon is back! Back!! BACK!! : Mars have cashed in one of their longer-standing “free goodwill” chips by restoring – however briefly – 70s/80s icon Marathon to its brand portfolio (whether it’ll completely replace Snickers, and for how long, are unknowns).  The comments on this Brandrepublic story are withering – how unimaginative, the marketers scoff, how short-sighted.

AS IF! Not that I feel the re-re-brand is anything other than a deeply cynical move but it’s a well-timed one and likely to succeed in the short-term without damaging the brand in the long term. The cohort of consumers who identified with Marathon are now getting beyond the age where they buy countline confectionery – how better to get them to at least re-try the product? Nostalgia – especially for a cheaper age – works well in times of economic difficulty – and so does the parochialism which Mars is tapping into by jettisoning its ‘global’ Snickers brand. It’s a bit of free publicity in a sector where headline-making innovation is thin on the ground. And it’s sufficiently long after the Marathon brand was dropped originally for the move not to look like any kind of admission of error by Mars.