Kellogg’s Launching Real Fruit Winders through new media Summary Concepts: Marketing, target, launch, Chewchat, campaign, snack, Fruit Winders, consumers, communicate, website, interactivity, advertising, animations. Summary: This case study looks at the recent launch of Kellogg’s Real Fruit Winders. The Internet was chosen to communicate with the target audience because it is where children interested in games and technology are most likely to be found. The campaign aimed to grab the attention of opinion formers and trendsetters who would then tell their peers.
The campaign is particularly interesting because it was based around a set of animated characters who speak their own language. Online games and competitions help remind consumers about a brand, but the difficult bit is how to persuade audiences to interact with these forms of branded entertainment in the first place; promotions such as animations, e-mail campaigns and sponsorships need to be developed. Note how precise the objectives are for the company’s first non-cereal based product: become a Top 10 kids confectionery snack to generate annual sales of over ? 5 million and to be profitable within 2 years from launch. To achieve this level of interest, Kellogg’s went for: interactive animated advertisements placed on children’s websites animated characters that used a secret language to give true ‘cool credibility’. Introduction This case study looks at the recent launch of Kellogg’s Real Fruit Winders. The launch had two main features. Firstly, it was done with key support from a website. Secondly, the product format is Kellogg’s first move outside of cereals and cereal bars and into a totally new category of fruit snacks. Real Fruit Winders are fun, fruit snack rolls.
The primary target market for them is children aged 6 – 12. The Internet was chosen to communicate with the target audience because it is where children interested in games and technology are most likely to be found. The campaign aimed to grab the attention of opinion formers and trendsetters who would then tell their peers. The campaign is particularly interesting because it was based around a set of animated characters who speak their own language. Also, these characters and their adventures were introduced to the target audience well in advance of the product they supported.
In a rapidly changing world, marketing specialists need to use state-of-the-art communication methods, particularly when dealing with young people who tend to be most familiar with the latest technology. The best way to launch a new product is to use the media most appropriate to the target audience. For example, magazines like Bliss and Sugar (targeted at teenage girls) are ideal vehicles for launching teenage cosmetics. Similarly, popular television programmes watched by a large proportion of the population provide suitable media for marketing mass market consumer products like toothpaste and breakfast cereals.
Traditionally, firms have used television for product launches because it reaches into millions of homes. However, in an age in which the majority of homes have access to the Internet and where young people are the keenest online browsers, it makes sense to build a launch around digital media as well as television advertising with some products. Online games and competitions help remind consumers about a brand, but the difficult bit is how to persuade audiences to interact with these forms of branded entertainment in the first place; promotions such as animations, e-mail campaigns and sponsorships need to be developed.
The marketing plan Even the very best new products will not sell themselves. They need the support of a sound marketing plan. Objectives The starting point of any plan is to set out clear objectives. Marketing planners at Kellogg’s established the business objectives for Real Fruit Winders and its launch. Note how precise the objectives are for the company’s first non-cereal based product: *become a Top 10 kids confectionery snack *to generate annual sales of over ? 15 million and to be profitable within 2 years from launch. The product idea
Kellogg’s marketing research showed that children wanted a sweet snack that is ‘cool and fun’. Parents wanted a fruity snack that was healthy for their children. Having developed a product that met these two criteria, the marketing department then had to communicate this clearly in the launch as well as getting across that the product: *is a fruit snack roll in 3 flavours; orange, blackcurrant and strawberry *is over 50real fruit *has no artificial colouring or flavours. Advertising and promotional campaigns were designed to attract children by concentrating on the elements of great taste, fun, and website interactivity.
Parents were given the reassurance that the product comes from Kellogg’s, and mainly consists of real fruit. Children were selected as the target market because they are the end consumers of the product. To spread the word about the product, it made sense to target ‘playground leaders’ who are the trendsetters for others to follow and the first ones to adopt new fashionable products. At the same time, it was necessary to reassure parents about the fruit based nature of the product; this was done using the pack. Understanding consumers’ perception
In a consumer driven society, firms need to understand and then meet the needs of their target market. The marketeers given the job of launching Real Fruit Winders needed to carry out detailed research to develop insights into how children use communication channels. This research showed that a key child’s insight is: ‘All the things I’m into are really interactive; my Gameboy, the Internet, multi-channel TV, CD-ROMs. ‘ So a website that simply gave information was not enough. The site had to be interactive in ways attractive to children, the target users. Creating a ‘big buzz’
Advertising plays a key role in any new product launch and must generate excitement about the product. With a product targeted at children, it is vital to get them talking about it amongst themselves e. g. in the school playground and in other places where young people get together and chat about what is happening in their world. To achieve this level of interest, Kellogg’s went for: *interactive animated advertisements placed on children’s websites *animated characters that used a secret language to give true ‘cool credibility’. A phased launch To maintain the momentum and excitement of the launch it was rolled out in several phases.
Phase 1: Sowing the seed This involved seeding the language prior to the launch. It featured unbranded Flash-based animations of the three flavours: strawberries, blackcurrants and oranges looking fearful of the ‘Wicked’ Chewchat Gang. The three fruit characters (Blabber, Sorbabe & Booster) were developed as symbols of mischief and naughtiness. The Chewchat Gang use their own Chewchat language to communicate their wicked thoughts. Facing the Chewchat Gang are a series of Terrified Fruit: the real fruit that spend their lives in fear of the Chewchat Gang.
They too use Chewchat language to express their fear. A key part of the new product concept is the secret Chewchat language, which is set out in a variety of symbols. The aim of this secret language is to give young people something they can experiment with and take ownership of. Children decide for themselves what the symbols mean and, using the language, can communicate through stickers, chat discs and on the web. Phase 2: The pre-launch boost Once the initial buzz had been created, the next phase developed the animations into characters which, when clicked on, took users through to Chewchat. om, where they could play games, send text messages and enter competitions. The objective of this phase was to make sure that children made the connection between the various parts of the campaign (Chewchat, Chewchat Gang and Terrified Fruit). At this stage the campaign was still unbranded. Chewchat sticker sheets were distributed through children’s media, and Chewchat symbols continued to appear in unexpected places such as shopping centre floors. Phase 3: Making the connections Finally it was time to make the connection between the campaign and the product.
Having already established credibility with children through Chewchat, the objective of Phase 3 was to create awareness amongst parents and children of a real fruit snack from Kellogg’s. This was done by creating lots of links between other Internet sites and Chewchat. com, and also by setting up 5 nationwide spoofs or ‘wind-ups’. On April Fool’s Day the national press was used to communicate these wind-ups and make the connection with Kellogg’s Real Fruit Winders. Four million stickers giving the web address were distributed in magazines such as Smash Hits, in shopping centres, in toy stores, and at concerts. Phase 4: Consolidation
The final phase in the campaign was two 30-second advertisements involving ‘Orange’ and ‘Strawberry’ which were seen as the most powerful flavours. An important part of the television advert was a message to parents about the real fruit content. In the event, the television advertising was postponed because by then demand for the product was already so high that it had seriously outstripped the company’s initial production capacity. The product consists of fruity flavours that are flattened and rolled up into the pack by the Chewchat Gang, to give you – Kellogg’s Real Fruit Winders! It has several novel features.
One key feature is that symbols can be printed onto the product itself with stampers that came with the multi-packs (for limited promotional periods). Evaluating a campaign A campaign needs to be evaluated against the targets set at the outset. In this case, the targets were to: *become a Top 10 children’s snack *generate a high value of sales. It is also worth asking, however, whether the success was because of the media used or in spite of it. How vital had the online promotion been? Did the interactive website really make a big difference? The available evidence suggests that the website initiative did pay off. Awareness and Usage
The chart below shows awareness of the Real Fruit Winders brand when compared with other snacks. The chart indicates a remarkable success story, bearing in mind that this was a completely new product area for Kellogg’s, and that Kit Kat and Twix are by far the best selling snacks in the UK. Note that the burst of TV advertising took off only on June 4, 2001. Until then, sales had been driven by public relations and online activity alone. It is also important to evaluate the web launch. A problem with many websites is that children just flick through them. To hold children’s interest, websites need something special about them.
Recent research has indicated that the average time spent at Chewchat. com is 12 minutes, and that 10of visitors spend longer than 19 minutes onsite. This is very encouraging, because it indicates that visitors will have engaged with the site and thus have a good understanding of its key messages. Typically, visitors spend time on the site playing the games, particularly Chewchase. The site also serves as an important market research tool because users are able to register for a newsletter. Data collected from visitors asking for newsletters shows that typical visitors are aged between 8 and 12 years, and 60of them are female.
Conclusion There can be little doubt that the web launch was an appropriate vehicle for creating a buzz of excitement about Real Fruit Winders and that the animated characters associated with the product have become part of popular culture. Interactivity has been a core theme throughout. The idea of the Chewchat Gang terrifying fruit has proved engaging and persuasive. Introducing that idea in a way that left children feeling that they had discovered it for themselves greatly increased its impact. The product has more than met initial expectations and is now successfully established as a popular brand with its target market.