Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sunday Reading: Diamond Shreddies and Marketing Brilliance!

Sure you've heard about the New Diamond Shreddies campaign. Macleans wrote an article about the background story, including the 26-year intern that came up with the idea.

When Hunter Somerville created the world's first "diamond Shreddie" in September 2006 by pivoting a piece of the waffled whole wheat cereal onto a 45 degree angle, he didn't have a clue it would inspire a landmark ad campaign destined to spark debate at checkout counters and win fawning accolades within the very industry it parodies — all while selling a truckload of cereal and revitalizing a sleepy brand. At the time, though, the virtuosity of his cereal play didn't summon a "Eureka!" moment. "I thought it was the stupidest, worst idea ever," he says.

Still, there was nervousness within Kraft's upper ranks that consumers might not get the joke. A trial campaign that spanned print, television, billboards and the Internet was floated in Alberta in the summer of 2007. A TV spot explained that a dire accident at the Shreddies factory had led to the extinction of the square Shreddie. A website offered prizes, a vote-in for "square" or "diamond," and recipes with the caveat: "If Diamond Shreddies cereal is not available, you can substitute with square Shreddies cereal." Not everyone got the joke. One perplexed man wrote the Edmonton Journal: "I am not usually the suspicious type, but don't the new Diamond Shreddies look like the original Shreddies just flipped on their side?" But enough did get it to lead to sales increases that far exceeded expectations.

It's a long article, but give it a read.

Unlike a friend of mine who thinks the new campaign is an insult to his intelligence (I tease, Justin!), I think it is a piece of marketing brilliance.

Growing up I was allowed to choice of 5 different cereals: Shreddies, Honey Nut Cheerios, Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, or Raisin Bran.


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