Middle-school sweethearts Tim and Jennifer Scarne had been trying to conceive for many years. After their second I.V.F. procedure and an outstanding doctor, they finally achieved success.
But a few months ago the doctor found a little growth in the chest of the unborn baby. Unborn Scarne will be okay, but the surgery he requires will be costly for the Los Angeles-based DJ and his wife. Unfortunately, we live in a first-world nation where parents-to-be can hardly afford to give birth if there’s any complication. So Tim came up with a plan, and the “Name Me Snickers” campaign began this week.
Throughout their dating years and marriage, Mars Company‘s Snickers candy bar has been a significant part of their everyday lives. So Tim and Jennifer decided they will legally name their baby “Snickers” if the Mars Company will provide the baby with health care and education.
We sat down with the proud soon-to-be-father of this potential spokesman for life to ask him about his idea and campaign. That follows this testimonial from the Name Me Snickers website:
I’ve read the full back story on your unborn child’s website, but at what point did you really begin to consider naming your child after a candy bar? Who brought it up, you or your wife?
Right about 20 weeks, the halfway point of the pregnancy, there’s a big Ultrasound test with a perinatologist. The first one we met misdiagnosed our unborn son.
The whole “ObamaCare” issue was still buzzing around the news, and we were witnessing the current health-care system in full swing: Terrible advice with even worse bedside manners put us in a state of worry and depression for about two weeks. We decided not to divulge the initial prognosis to our friends and family until we had a second opinion. In the meantime, whenever people would ask us if we had decided on a name yet, we would silently cry. If they only knew how little we cared what we would be calling him. We were scared that he might have heart failure in utero.
So I did the only thing I know how to do — I entertained my wife with silly names. The tears turned into laughter, and sure enough our baby’s progress began to look up. I brought up the idea to call our baby “Snickers.” We laughed about it. I still laugh about it. But she didn’t take me seriously at first. Think about how funny this is, “Everyone in America is talking about a baby whose legal name is Snickers.”
How far into the process of negotiating with Mars are you? Do they even know about your effort?
I’m sure their director of online marketing and social media is aware of our campaign. But I’m guessing they are not quite sure how to respond since I haven’t received an official response yet. I am sure they are waiting to see how many people join my Facebook page or follow @SnickersScarne on Twitter.
There should be a new term for democratic-style consumerism. Isn’t that the only reason Betty White starred in a recent Snickers commercial? Without the “Like” button on Facebook, I seriously doubt she would have been asked to host SNL or been asked to star in a commercial for a candy bar. Usually you see someone like her in a life insurance ad with the title “TV Star” under her name.
Could this potentially be a bait & switch? Like, would your child’s birth name be Snickers but you’d give him or her a “normal” middle name to call it as it grows up? What kind of contractual stipulations would you enter into with Mars about this?
I imagine the contract will be pretty deep, like an endorsement deal for an athlete, and also very difficult to publicly bait and switch the Mars Company without serious repercussions. Besides, I am not just seeking publicity to land a reality show. Although, I am sure that if this deal goes through, the reality show offer will be coming right around the corner.
What would happen if your son wants to change his or her name at 18? Are you shooting for a lifetime deal, or just until his 18th birthday? I imagine the Mars company wouldn’t want an unhappy spokesperson.
I will teach him that happiness comes not from the name people know you as, but how you treat yourself and others. Who knows, he could be President someday. He might also live to be 1,000 years old. I saw a video of a TED talk where a doctor printed a kidney. He printed a kidney! He might also love the name. No risk, no reward.
Do you foresee this as a one-time shot or are babies just going to be raffled off as advertisements in the future in exchange for education/health care?
I see companies scrambling to be more edgy and competitive with media campaigns. I expect more to follow. The first time I heard about a car wrap, I thought that is the worst idea ever. Funny enough, it helped me promote a movie I produced quite effectively. I also know of the story of two high-school students getting corporate sponsors to cover their college education, which was a very cool idea.
Babies already endorse products, but people just don’t like to admit it. Who pays for the Google ads before a YouTube video? People throw their children online for others to exploit without putting any thought into it. By the way, I just saw the Babbling Twin Babies video on your website, and it was hilarious. I hope the parents are able to help pay for at least a box of diapers from the ad revenue generated from the natural gas ad that ran prior.
What do you think this says about the state of education and health care in this country when people can’t even afford to give birth if there’s any complication or send their kids to college?
To me it says that society’s priorities are all messed up. We can choose our elected leaders. We can rally without getting shot at by our government. We can speak out against our state without imprisonment. Yet it seems that people are spending more and more time tweeting videos of Charlie Sheen’s Auto-tuned Winning Remix then they are taking action to solve important problems.
Disclaimer, I admit that I am guilty of such shenanigans. I have long been fascinated with our culture’s obsession of fame and celebrity and have expressed so through my own YouTube art. Yet I am disappointed when someone is awarded a Nobel Peace Prize and doesn’t make news because the video clip didn’t go “viral.”
What happens if the baby’s born with a peanut allergy?
I hope that doesn’t happen — Butterfinger Scarne just doesn’t have the same ring to it!!