September 2011

Still cuckoo after all these years

Do you ever wonder if your advertising and marketing campaign is getting old and stale? Do you feel like you need to have a new image or a new look to help boost sales? Perhaps your brand needs an evolution, not a revolution.

Since 1962 Sonny the Cuckoo Bird has been cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, because of those 3 wonderful qualities “crunchy, munchy, and chocolatey.”

Since 1959 the silly Trix rabbit has been trying desperately to trick children into giving him some Trix Cereal. Although on a few occasions, he WAS allowed to eat a bowl of Trix, he continues to try.

Since 1963 Toucan Sam has been sniffing out hidden bowls of Foot Loops Cereal and he can ALWAYS find them because all you have to do is follow his nose (it always knows).

With respect to these three brands, General Mills and Kellogg’s have chosen to stay on the path of CONSISTENCY.  I often emphasize the importance of consistency because although YOU are looking at your marketing materials day-in, and day-out, your customers and prospects aren’t necessarily seeing it every day. Rather they only see your message as an intermittent burst among the sea of thousands — sometimes even tens of thousands —  of messages that they are flooded with every day. Staying consistent and cohesive gives your brand extra strength through longevity and repetition.

Sometimes an ad campaign seems to get boring or dull, and you may want to switch it up after a few months or even a year.  The 3 examples above have been maintaining a consistent advertising campaign for OVER 50 YEARS!  Sure, the characters get freshened up, and they go on new adventures, but they are always there. Think about what you don’t like about your message and maybe all you need is a new twist on the old theme. Don’t lose faith in your brand equity and brand history.

Keep Sonny in mind next time you want to start fresh. Think about it, are your ads driving your prospects cuckoo, or just you? If General Mills or Kellogg’s had changed their campaign theme intermittently, they might have gone from Cereal Manufacturers to Cereal Killers.

Read more