Saturday, January 9, 2010

Special K sells hope like Dove soap

Isn't this special?

When I was a kid, Special K was for men, women, and children; you'd eat it for breakfast one day a year when you got sick of the Corn Flakes you'd eaten for breakfast on the other 364 days.

In recent years, it's been pushed at women as a dietary plan under the banner, the Special K Challenge!

Now comes a new campaign called, the Victory Project, which features "real women" in the same vein of the famous Dove Real Beauty campaign, functioning as a catch-all beauty, health, and fashion destination, like a What Not to Wear and Queer Eye sponsored by Tony the Tiger.

Talk about proving the old marketing adage, "Don't sell soap, sell hope!"

Special K even asks U.S. women to audition to be a cast member on the site, to show the path "from plan to victory." How does the plan work? By eating a lot of Special K multiple times a day, of course.

This has been the goal of the cereal and beverage industry for some time: the golden prize that comes from getting users to be "repeat users;" the thinking being that it's easier to get someone to drink Coke at breakfast who already drinks it at lunch than it is to get someone who doesn't drink Coke at all to start doing it.

This is why there are recipes on the side of cereal boxes, the reason that cereal bars exist, and the reason why a diet and fashion plan with cereal at its heart is a marketer's dream come true. If it works, of course.

The Times quotes Jose Alberto Duenas, Kellogg's vice-president of cereal marketing:
“We’re trying to be faithful to giving real women a place to declare victory without the piece feeling overwhelmed by what the brand brings to the table. If you want to make a connection, you have to give consumers a chance to take part of the spotlight. Authenticity is what we’re looking for.”


  1. A commercial for Mini Wheats convinced me to warm up my milk this morning and try it "hot."

    The heat from the milk quickly dismantled my rolled wheat cereal into a hot glop.

    Cereal advertisments suck.

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  3. If What Not to Wear was somehow involved in business dealings with Tony the Tiger, maybe he'd finally realize after 58 years in the public eye that horizontal stripes are not slimming.

    The campaign itself does indeed seem to be interactive enough to claim they're trying to help every woman reach that goal. However, I'm betting they would not be interested in my audition when I tell them I've been eating Lucky Charms for two decades.

  4. Ha, ha! That's a reality show that I'd like to see.


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