This is intended to be a psychology question about human decision making and behavior as concerns advertising. As this is only my second ever question on Cognitive Sciences SE, please advise as to any reasonable improvements to the question, and now for the fun part!

A few years ago, Mars the candy company decided they weren't selling enough Twix candy bars, and launched an ad campaign centered on the idea of the left and right sides of the candy bar being a point of controversy, based on the idea that one is better than the other. Now, three years later, they are even selling packages carrying "only left Twix" or "only right Twix". Now obviously, this entire ad campaign is preposterous. There's no difference between the left side of a Twix bar and the right side of a Twix bar.

And yet the idea of stoking controversy over meaningless polarization of the public has been a very successful strategy for viral marketing in the past. Remember that yellow and gold dress? It seems to be fact at this point that pointless controversy creating conflict between two polar-opposite groups of people is an immensely successful means of propagating the story. In my limited marketing expertise, I'd say Mars did everything right with their Twix campaign.

So why does no one care? People as a matter of fact think it ridiculous. Why isn't it working?

  • $\begingroup$ Because it had already been done with "Square vs. Diamond" Shreddies? $\endgroup$
    – Seanny123
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 23:42
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Yellow/gold dress was an organic development easily memed and not owned by a company. Nor was it a pointless controversy. Many people saw the dress in different colors and were exposed to a phenomena they wouldn't have otherwise seen. This provoked curiosity and interest. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 5:18
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I think because it is far too obvious that the left and right Twix are exactly the same, and it is discarded by people as a marketing trick. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 8:12
  • $\begingroup$ I can't decide if this question is on-topic or opinion based. I think it should be left open because I can imagine an answer citing previous studies on controversy manufacturing and their effectiveness? $\endgroup$
    – Seanny123
    Commented Mar 9, 2018 at 18:38
  • $\begingroup$ The fact you are talking about this marketing campaign on the internet with others is proof it was a success $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 9, 2020 at 20:53

1 Answer 1


Because people do not see the parallels between the candy and any other dividing issue. People, just like Twix are neither left nor right when created. It is through labeling that divisions are made. So while left and right Twix are still just Twix, a difference in labeling makes them seem different to those that bestow the labels.


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