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Special K is SOOOoo NOT Getting My Business - Ever!

I was watching my favorite show the other night - on HGTV - or maybe on CBS - or it could have been NBC; I have favorite shows on all those stations. Anyway, as I was watching TV, and reading (multi-tasking, and all) a commercial came on that made my blood start to boil.

Special K cereal was showing a young woman reaching for something in a kitchen cupboard when her blouse pops a button, just about where her cleavage would be, if it were showing.

This is a young woman (30 years old or younger) who probably weighs under 120 pounds, and looks to be about 5'5" or 5'6". This button popping leads her to wrinkle her pretty forehead in worry, and to reach into a different cupboard... to bring out the Special K. Because popping her button means she's fat. And Special K will help her lose weight.

Here's why Special K just doesn't get it and why this commercial is so out of it. First: the young woman is adorable and gorgeous and IF she was growing enough to pop her breast button - well, it's not something most women would complain about. Since the rest of her was pretty slim.

Second: after she grabs the Special K and the announcer lets us in on how a breakfast cereal can help you lose weight (it's cereal folks, not a diet pill)... the young woman proceeds to pull the edges of her blouse OPEN... in pride. As if it's now okay to pop buttons.

Explain to me where the marketing director at Kellogg has been for the last five years - maybe under a rock? Explain to me how one minute this "poor" girl can be so concerned about this popped button, and the next, proud to show off...nothing. She never does open her blouse enough to reveal anything. That's just a ruse for the men watchingDove_girls_rule .

What message is this sending - to women, to young girls, to men? The WRONG message. The message that slim is not okay - you have to achieve skinny. The message that a breakfast cereal is a substitute for good nutrition and exercise. The message that Kellogg doesn't care about its customers - it only wants to sell cereal, despite this site that purports to defend the way Kellogg is advertising Special K (or HAS advertised it in the past...the ads noted on the site are pre-21st century, and if this new ad is part of the program, they have veered WAAAAaayyyyy off course!)

So, all I can say is: Special K, you need to call Dove and get on board with 21st Century thinking: to connect to your market using conversation and interactive dialogue.

Kellogg, if you really want to learn how to reach the women's market - let me know. I can pull together a group of solid marketing professionals who won't embarrass you by creating stupid commercials like that! Really.

Comments

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Yvonne DiVita

OBloodyhell, sexist...to think a commercial about a woman's blouse busting a button will stick in a man's brain long enough for him to remember what it's for??? I agree men do a lot of the chores, these days. My man does the shopping. But, if he remembers this commercial, it won't be in a conscious, "I need to buy Special K," way. Admit it...you are wired that way. So, you remember the busting button, but not the product.

Seriously...

OBloodyHell

> "That's just a ruse for the men watching"
> And what's the point of that, it's hardly likely that men are going to rush out and buy it for either themselves or their partners.

Uh, NOW who's the sexist?

Apparently men never shop for the family in your world?

The goal with that is to make the commercial stick in the minds of men watching, which (hopefully, by K's reasoning) means that they will remember the product when they go out to buy food without a specific instruction as to what to purchase.

It isn't that they are supposed to remember WHY their S.O. would want it, only that it is a breakfast cereal which is **targeted at women** (much as, say, Lucky Charms targets kids) -- and thus that it is one they should buy if not advised as to a specific.

I'm not disagreeing with you that the ad is lame, just that that part isn't the lame part -- You want something to stick in a guy's head, nice breasts are never a bad component. We're wired that way, even "leg men" like 'em.

As Seinfeld put it, "I *have* legs..."

;-)

Kimberly Palmer

Wow - I could not agree with you more.

Mary Schmidt

And, Kellogg's web site is badly designed. I have to click, click, click to get to Special K - where they show me photos of skinny 20-somethings. Then give links to Yahoo health (huh?) and Amazon (to buy cereal.)

In addition to revisiting target markets, Kellogg's marketing team also needs to learn how to effectively market on the web.

(I loved the old ads, by the way. Too bad Kellogg's didn't keep following that idea.)

Mary Schmidt

This is why I don't watch much "commercial" television. Most of the "marketing to women" is stuck back in the 1950s (sparkling laundry, happy kids, obsession with being a size 2) Not that I'm against clean clothes, happy children or even being skinny (I used to be a size 2, way back when.)

However, such pitches are condescending - and worse - boring!

(P.S. I like Special K - too bad their marketing is so clueless.)

Yvonne DiVita

John, you are so right. Is that little titillation supposed to make men think, "Hmmm, if my wife/girl friend eats Special K, her boobs will grow"?

I just cannot imagine any other reason to have the model pull her blouse open further.

Thanks for the support.

John

"That's just a ruse for the men watching"

And what's the point of that, it's hardly likely that men are going to rush out and buy it for either themselves or their partners.

Kelloggs clearly need some help.

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