Ads without Beauty Shots – Are You Serious?

Cornflake Girl

Perhaps I am an idealist.  Maybe just a traditionalist.  But I like a beauty shot to go with my quick-witted copy and eye-catching headline.  That said, imagine my surprise when I learned that Kellogg’s newest ad campaign lacked both image shots and brand logos.  That’s right – these ads don’t show the product that they are promoting or even a glimpse of its logo.

So just what is Kellogg’s doing?  They are selling emotions and the vision of lifestyle.

Selling emotions and lifestyles aren’t unfamiliar concepts, as seen by the proliferation of powerful taglines that inspire cult followings.  Drivers wanted; Melt in your mouth, not in your hand; and, A diamond is forever, just to name a few.  But Kellogg’s has taken this concept a step further by completely emitting brand imagery.

While the breakfast foods powerhouse has a bevy of brand equity behind it, and risks little by omitting brand visuals from its ads, will potential consumers take the extra few seconds to analyze the ad and make the product-specific connections?

The Special K Challenge, which is prominent in these ads, has arguably developed its own sub-brand, becoming known for its promise to help women lose weight by simply replacing two meals per day with a bowl of Special K cereal.  But for a brand that has expanded to include snack bars, snack bites, water and crackers, is it reasonable to expect consumers to extend the brand association beyond the box of cereal?

As a former Special K consumer keenly aware of the Special K Challenge, I can honestly say that my brand association for the Challenge would not extend beyond the box of cereal.  And, in my humble opinion, Kellogg’s is missing a tremendous opportunity to up-sell.  If consumers think they can lose weight by consuming the cereal, it is reasonable to think that they could be intrigued by other products in the brand family – particularly if they could contribute to helping women achieve further weight loss goals.

I’m anxious to see how the bottom-line is impacted by Kellogg’s daring new campaign.  Is the Special K Challenge strong enough on its own to inspire purchases of other products in the brand family?

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  • I also think Kellogg's is missing the boat by not including logos or other product indicators in the ads. Spending many years in the newspaper business, I get that your copy and message needs to get the consumer by the emotions, but where's your branding and identity? What answer is going to pop into the consumers' heads when they are in the grocery store racking their brains to remember the name of that cereal that they wanted to try so badly.

    The only way this is going to work for them is if they put the exact pictures from the commercials on the box.

  • thecoolestcool

    Ads without product placements or “beauty shots” are advertising at its finest. Its when the creative must step out of their comfort zone and try and connect with people on a more personal and emotional level. It takes a lot of research and careful planning to be able to pull off something like this. I think Kelloggs will be able to do it – and do it well.

  • jeffespo

    Danielle, This could work two ways for them. Much like Christina's Crisco post last week, this could be an attempt at rebranding. Maybe Kelloggs is trying to build up the Special K brand w/o leveraging their not fully healthy brand image. I know when I think Kelloggs the first thing I think of is Tony the Tiger, and Snap Crackle and Pop with some chocolate on them, or Honey Smacks.

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