Kellogg Goes for Gold With Wieber Ad Campaign

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

It's considered the most important meal of the day, yet people skip it all the time. Jordyn Wieber isn't one of them.

"She loves Nutrigrain bars, she eats a lot of Nutigrain bars, and she loves Special K cereal," said Dan VanDeVelde, Senior Vice President Marketing & Innovation for Morning Foods at Kelloggs.

So, naturally, Wieber became part of Team Kellogg's this year, but her eating habits weren't the only reason she was chosen.

"Gymnastics are one of the most popular sports, and obviously Jordyn is one of the most accomplished gymnasts, but we loved the fact that she's from our home state here in Michigan, and as we were going through the process, we met her, we met her family, and we just thought she was fantastic," VanDeVelde said.

Wieber wasn't alone. Kellogg's chose eight other Olympians for their "Great Start" campain, the biggest they've ever launched for the Olympics. It's geared toward families, and includes online video testimonials from the athletes. Wieber's has the most hits.

"It's just natural for our brand to be partnering with the Olympic athletes, because we all believe in the power of breakfast, and we know that a better breakfast leads to a better day," VanDeVelde said.

It also leads to better sales, according to marketing experts. They say using Olympians to sell a product is one of the best ways a company can cut through the clutter out there and beat the competitors. Michigan State University marketing professor Dale Wilson explained that it doesn't just stand out to consumers, but motivates them.

"I think everybody aspires to be good looking, and athletic, and healthy, and so we kind of project ourselves into that role," Wilson said. "If Jordyn Wieber can do it, ya know, a 10-year-old girl who's looking at the box, can think, I can do this too."

That's exactly what helps sell the 80 million special boxes on shelves right now, plus keeps people coming back for more.

"The Olympic team staring at you while you're eating breakfast, how can you help but have a positive attitude toward the brand?" Wilson said.

That's what Kellogg hopes. Wilson estimates the company spent at least $100 million on this campaign, and warns the company should be cautious.

"People will get tired tired of it, if there's too much media exposure," Wilson said. "So you want to really be careful, and reach that optimal level of the campaign."

It's hard to believe anyone would get tired of starting their day with Jordyn Wieber. That's why the campaign also includes a significant social media aspect. The nine Olympians will also be tweeting from London.

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