Kellogg’s cereal brand Special K has changed its marketing tack, stepping away from the woman in the red dress and bathers and switching to a spot encouraging women to be the best they can be.
The spot focuses on the little voice inside women’s heads that is often negative, and how to overcome that. Special K hopes to become the ally for women to achieve this, explained Kellogg’s marketing director, Tamara Howe.
However, despite the new tack being a further push towards women, Howe – who took the job in October last year, after former CMO John Broome was recruited to Unilever – doesn’t reckon men will shy away from the brand.
“Special K has always focused on women for its communication, so I don’t think that’s a change,” she said. “However, I guess we’re taking more of a point of view now on being women’s ally with this body confidence issue.”
It’s an issue that can affect both men and women, noted Howe, but said brands these days need to have a point of view so “as a result of that, you have to be somewhat choiceful.
“But at the end of the day, we get a lot of consumption from men as well,” she added, claiming 40 per cent of those who consume Special K are male.
When asked whether this new push with more of a focus for women will alienate men from eating the cereal though, Howe doesn’t reckon it will, if the past is anything to go by.
Indeed, Special K has marketed towards women for a number of years now, using imagery of a woman in a red dress or red bathers who gains confidence eating the cereal. And while Howe said there’s no plans to properly do away with the concept, this new push was about showing a “more modern interpretation of the brand”.
“Our brand has to continually evolve itself,” she said, “and reflect modern values. That’s what we want to do with Special K.
“That imagery is still a very distinct image for Special K, but we’re constantly looking to refresh the portrayal of the brand and reflect modern women’s values.”
The colour red is still a strongly resonating colour for the brand though, added Howe, “we still want to leverage it, just doing it in a fresh and modern way”.
There’s a number of diverse women and relationships shown in the spot, which Howe said was a “conscious decision” and a need to reflect the current culture.
All in all, Howe said she was really inspired by the message, even more so when she said she said a number of women had contacted her and wanted to be a part of the campaign.
“It’s a very good sign that the message is resonating,” she said.