A New Duh! Moment In Advertising

After years of success in the UK, Kellogg’s rolled out  Crunchy Nut Cereal in the U.S. in late January, 2011.  A New York Times article on Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut cereal titled “Did We Mention That It Tastes Good?”  shows that Kelloggs has uncovered a brilliant new marketing strategy for the breakfast cereal category:

What sets adult cereal apart from most other foods is that, oddly, it is rarely advertised primarily on the promise of tasting good. Special K, for example, is marketed as a dieting aid for women who eat it throughout the day, while Wheaties promises to fuel athletic performance and Fiber One promotes the digestive benefits of a high-fiber diet. Although popular adult cereals make secondary claims about being toothsome, of course, the primary pitch is for healthfulness. But for Crunchy Nut, a brand being introduced in the United States, theKellogg Company is doing something that goes against the grain: selling cereal to American adults solely on the claim of being tasty.

“It’s Morning Somewhere”

Doug VanDeVelde, senior vice president of marketing and innovation at Kellogg’s, explains the strategy behind this:

Acceptable taste is necessary for any brand, but this is the high end of taste, taste as good as it gets for cereal. This is the cereal for people who want the ultimate, super-duper taste experience.

The “it’s morning somewhere” television campaign features humorous commercials focused on the taste experience of Crunchy Nut.

In a brilliant television commercial made by the Chicago office of Leo Burnett, part of the Publicis Groupe, a young man works in the night on a laptop at his kitchen table, where a box of Crunchy Nut rests. The voiceover says: “New Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut. “So delicious you won’t want to wait till morning to eat it.”

The young man is then shown holding the cereal box and a bowl and pulls a spoon from his pocket when passing through airport security. After sleeping on an airplane hugging the box to his chest, he bumps along a dirt road on a bus, hitches a ride on the back of a motorcycle, and arrives in a remote fishing village in Tonga.  As the sun starts to rise, he eats his bowl of cereal, and the spot closes with the campaign tagline: “It’s morning somewhere.”

Inventing A New High End Category

Most American households already buy cereal, so marketers focus on increasing “usage occasions,” for instance, incorporating cereal into a diet plan, as with Special K, or featuring non-breakfast recipes on boxes, as in Corn Flakes-coated chicken, or Chex Mix and Rice Krispies treats.

Likewise, the concept behind ‘It’s morning somewhere, is to extend usage occasions, but on the basis of it’s taste. Kellogg’s has also introduced luxury variants to its Crunchy Nut line. This makes sense for 3 reasons:

  1. Consumer Preference: In a survey by , according to market research firm Mintel of American adults who eat cereal, respondents rated the importance of cereal attributes, and taste ranked highest, followed by price, wholegrain content, familiarity of flavor, fiber content and sugar content.
  2. Consumer Behavior: 59% of cereal consumers eat it for breakfast most mornings, while 40% have a bowl for lunch or dinner sometimes
  3. Demographic Targeting: Kellogg’s is targeting a young male adult audience with the message that cereal isn’t just for breakfast.

Although taste and fun is rarely the primary focus with advertising for adult cereal, it has has long been so with children’s brands:

“The way to market to kids is a lot about taste and fun,” said VanDeVelde, noting the popularity of mascots like Toucan Sam, the Froot Loops character. “Toucan Sam has a great relationship with kids and goes on all these fruity adventures.”
Another similarity with children’s brands is sugar content. Crunchy Nut O’s are 37% sugars by weight, more than Frosted Flakes, which are 36.7% sugars. Crunchy Nut Flakes are 35.5% sugars by weight, well over not just many cereal brands but also some cookie brands, like Chips Ahoy, which are 31.3% sugars.

Integrated Marketing Opportunities

Kellogg‘s “It’s morning somewhere” campaign for Crunchy Nut cereal included TV, print, public relations and in-store marketing.

Digital: It also has a strong digital component that includes banner ads, homepage takeovers, and online video.

Event: The official launch was hosted at a 24-hour event, centered on a six-story tall cuckoo clock, which aimed to make the Guinness Book of World Records. Every hour of the day-long launch, the gigantic clock would chime, and actor Brad Norman would emerge, offering comedic performances dressed as a character from a location where it was currently morning. Celebrity entertainer Nick Cannon kicked off the event at Hollywood and Highlander Center in Los Angeles, energizing the crowd with a countdown to the first chime.

Clock   Nickcannon

Live video streams of the performances were available on the Crunchy Nut Facebook page, keeping fans in the loop. Additionally, there were opportunities to sample the cereal and interact with Brad Norman.

Mobile QR:  For the mobile campaign, Kellogg’s partnered with Augme Technologies, one of the leading services in the interactive media market. It uses QR codes  printed on cereal boxes that can be scanned by a smartphone, as well as an SMS code. Scanning recognizes users’ location and local time, prompts a video of an exotic locale where it is morning, and connects to a mobile site hosting 13 videos. Different videos run depending on the time of day a consumer connects, and the videos show breakfast time in another country.

The QR campaign was targeted specifically to single males between the ages of 18 and 35, who were mostly college students. The goal was to use the QR code to intrigue this market, who are computer literate and enjoy electronic games. ClickZ quotes Yuvraj Arora, Senior Marketing Director at the Kellogg Company:

The use of QR codes/SMS technology on packaging gave us an opportunity to connect with our consumer and bring the unique personality of the brand to life, beyond what could normally be accomplished with the product packaging alone.

Kellogg plans to offer more rewards-based content through the QR codes, including voting on new flavors and other rewards for participation.

Strong Results: ClickZ says the campaign – which is directed toward single men and also includes a traditional website and videos hosted onYouTube – has received mixed reviews, but here are some of the numbers generated during the campaign’s promotional period:

  • 40,000 QR scans
  • 60,000 texts to the mobile site
  • the scans and texts resulted in 38,000 videos played
  • and 50,000 pageviews
  • Facebook page with over 7,500 likes

While it seems surprising that QR scans would outnumber keyword texts, the effectiveness of QR scans makes particular sense in realm of cereal promotions – where consumers spend time reading the backs of cereal boxes, and can use a simple barcode as they leisurely eat their breakfast.

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