March 3, 2013
Just the other day I saw the Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats Hot Truck serving bowls of Mini-Wheats cereal drenched in hot milk in the Ryerson University campus (Toronto, ON, Canada). Kellogg’s hit the cold streets of Toronto with their ‘Warm Up Mornings” campaign warming up the stomachs of early-morning Toronto-nions and expanding the “Mini-Wheats” brand.
The campaign is planned to hit several locations situated in densely populated areas across Toronto spanning a fair amount of time. The unique campaign, a very season-appropriate one at that, takes the “Google-Style” marketing approach to building their brand. “Google-Style” marketing is providing well-branded useful resources or information free of charge with the hopes that some users will eventually convert into paid, revenue generating users. Examples of “Google-Style” marketing are Google’s search engine, Google Docs, Google Finance, and almost everything Google, which are all well-branded free resources that build the Google brand. A small portion of the users that continue to use these resources will eventually start using paid services like Google AdWords because they trust and rely on the Google brand.
Even if you don’t like cereal or haven’t tried Mini-Wheats, the thought of warm milk on a cold winter morning is incredibly tempting. And to add the cherry on top, it’s free! At Dundas Square (Yonge & Dundas), where approximately 62,000 people pass through daily, it’s completely normal for large corporations to spit out thousands of dollars on marketing campaigns that attract the masses. With something like this, a campaign aimed to introduce and expand the Mini-Wheats brand, it must be incredibly difficult to extract accurate metrics. I think it would be interesting to see the number of people that waited in line to receive free Mini-Wheats and then actually went out and bought a box.
I totally understand the argument that the purpose of the campaign is to drive brand recognition but why not throw in something that drives more accurate boxes bought to dollars spent ratios? I mean, with an entrepreneurial mindset of “thinking outside the box the room is in”, I’m sure Kellogg’s could have come up with a more unique result tracking method. With every bowl of Mini-Wheats the server handed out a 4×6 coupon/flyer, which I assume once redeemed would generate some sort of conversion metrics for Kellogg’s. Instead of using a method that most people will probably just throw out (flyer method), why not make it more interactive? For example: they could have created a Mini-Wheats phone app where you can store a coupon code from the campaign and when you buy a box you can collect more points to put towards another purchase. It would be an app to basically act as a loyalty card to collect and use points from purchases. With a marketing method like this it’s easier to derive the metrics of how successful the campaign actually was. Even if they had a quick tally asking how many of the people that grabbed a bowl have tried Mini-Wheats before, eaten it regularly, or have never tried would drastically change the quality of the campaign. This is a little more forward and considered “in your face” but it definitely would serve better for Kellogg’s to get a better understanding of the demographic.
I think if Kellogg’s put a little more effort into making this unique campaign more result driven, they could have effectively gathered useful data. Campaigns like these have a “wow” factor but need more of a follow up or something to remind potential customers of the products or services that the company has to offer even after the campaign is long gone.
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