Brand: Quaker – Rice Cakes
Link: Click Here
Target: Gym-adverse female yuppie-something dieters
A thirty-something woman expresses angst about diet fads and going to the gym unreconstructed and flashes Quaker cakes as the ‘classic’ solution.
Us ex-brand managers just love the big food companies (General Mills, Kraft, Kellogg’s) because they are usually incredibly disciplined about brand positioning. Obviously being part of Frito-Lay and the Pepsi empire has been good for Quaker. This spot is a good example. It’s not flashy or showy – and has just one set-up (I bet it cost under $150,000 to produce). It also creates a solid positioning in a very tricky situation, which is:
1. An old warhorse of a brand
2. A commodity category
So how does it work? First, like all really good positioning, Quaker does not try to skirt the negatives or argue with the consumer. Instead, they flip the negatives on their head and with a little judo find the positive. The classic example of this is Listerine which overcame a strong product performance issue (hurts like hell) with a rhetorical flip (hurting means it’s killing bad germs). Quaker has done something very similar here by taking the bad (BORING) and discovering the good side of it (not trendy, not unreliable, not subject to further medical review – i.e. CLASSIC).
The Classic positioning also gives Quaker a lever against the rest of the category. Not only are rice cakes a classic, trustworthy snack, but Quaker is THE classic, trustworthy name within the category. So if you are sold on “classic,” you’ll not only be drawn to the category, but you are prepped to believe you ought to pay a premium for Quaker.
How do we know that we are in the hands of master marketers? Here are three things to look at in this spot:
- “Parachute Pants in 1984″ – what looks like a self-deprecating comment is in fact an anchoring reference – bringing back the viewer to the era where Rice Cakes were IT.
- “Doughless Meat Heaven Pizza” – did you catch the sticker on the fast food cart behind the woman in the park? That’s a jab at Atkins and reinforces the point that fads are just that – fads.
- “Fad-Free” – Here’s a phrase that our 30-something woman uses which again sounds like self-deprecation. But it has the dual role of reminding you subliminally of yet another trend-diet (fat-free, the last dead warhorse before low-carb).
It’s amazing how much you can do with how little when you think first (hopefully Quiznos and Microsoft are listening here
The trick with these ‘talk shots’ is that you have to listen to them for them to work. I’m sure that the Frito people did their research to make sure they were getting measured attention on this spot, but I’d want to be careful about where I placed it. All the brilliance in the world won’t work if you don’t find your consumer in the right frame of mind to stop and hear the message.
Branding Bottom Line -
It’s nice to see professionals at work. Game on.
NOTE TO FRITO-LAY – if you are listening please POST THIS SPOT ON THE WEB – I hate directing my readers to a paid site to look at the ad!!)