Brand: Post Honey Bunches of Oats
Link: Click Here
Target: Real Cereal People
Factory workers at the Post plant describe Honey Bunches of Oats. They describe what it is and the fact that they like it. One worker calls it “a mouthful of joy”. Lots of product shots and real people wearing their plant plastic hairnets. The tagline is “It’s the cereal you’d make if you made cereal.”
Here’s an example of great Kraft advertising (Kraft owns Post). This spot is part of a campaign that started in 1999 (click here), but this execution works much better than earlier spots which were either a little scary (making you remember that the product is produced in a factory by big, impersonal machines) or a little sales-y (as with the 2004 spot which had employees driving around in Honey Bunches of Oats cars, delivering samples).
Here’s what to admire about this spot -
- Kraft doesn’t give up on a good campaign with less-than-perfect execution - in spite of several spots which failed to live up to the promise of the strong campaign strategy, the Post people did not give up on the strategy. This is unusual in a marketing world where the idea of the moment usually lasts just about that long. They were rewarded with an exceptionally strong, crisp execution that is more focused on the core strategy than early tries.
- Factory workers mean ‘authenticity’ - This is not a new insight by Kraft. Saturn made their brand on connecting their factory workers to consumers – do you remember the spot where a schoolteacher writes a letter about her car and the factory workers assembling the car put the letter in the glove compartment and sign it? Of course, the attribute that Post is really try to own here is authenticity. Using factory workers is a refreshing change from all of the purely ingredient or health-focused commercials crowding this segment of cereal advertising.
- The ‘Product as Hero’ execution works - Watching this spot quickly you might miss the fact that it is Honey Bunches of Oats and not the factory workers that serves as hero of this spot. It is impossible to watch this spot and wonder which brand is being advertised (a ThirdWay Advertising Blog pet peeve.) In addition, the product shots are crisp and effective. There is a strong improvement from the 1999 spot where the Orwellian factory shots overwhelmed the sense of individualism projected by the factory workers.
Post is trying to reach a group of people who want cereal that is not as processed or sugared as kids cereals, but who aren’t quite ready for Alpina or Bear Naked granola, either. The factory worker execution is an excellent way of saying ‘real food for real people.’
This spot is balanced on the razors edge, which makes the campaignability tricky. It is no coincidence that earlier executions of this strategy have not been nearly as successful. The effectiveness of the factory workers is tied to their genuineness and their individuality. Individuality is not the first thing we think of when we think of a factory, and it gets overwhelmed when we see images of huge cooking vats or thousands of boxes running through a conveyer belt. If the factory workers are too promotional, they loose that genuine feel – as they did when they were driving branded vehicles around the countryside. Post has a great campaign here, but managing it will be difficult.
Branding Bottom Line -
We want to believe in a product that the workers stand up for. Kraft scores with a spot that feels honest.