Archive for August, 2011

A Tiger at 60: How Kellogg’s Tony Is Changing for a New Age

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Like most 60-year olds, Tony the Tiger has gone through his share of changes over the years. He once got a facelift to round off his football-shaped head and even changed his eye color from green to yellow. Yes, even the fiercest of felines has a bit of vanity.

Tony’s purpose in life, however, has never wavered — sell Frosted Flakes to kids and grocery-buying moms. But now, as the food industry faces a crackdown on advertising to children, Kellogg Co. has found a new target for Tony: Dads.

In a new campaign by longtime agency Leo Burnett, Frosted Flakes is reaching out to fathers with TV ads that show a dad, son and Tony tossing a football in the backyard. The trio then heads to the kitchen for some post-game Flakes, as the voiceover intones “share what you love with who you love.” Kellogg, which ran a similar ad featuring baseball last year, is going all-in this fall, adding as a spokesman ESPN sports anchor (and dad) Rece Davis, who is featured on an ESPN microsite sponsored by the cereal.

The campaign is meant to tap into the growing trend of dads buying groceries. More than half of men ages 18 to 64 identify themselves as the primary shopper in the household, but only 22% to 24% feel that packaged-goods advertising is speaking to them, according to a recent survey of 2,400 U.S. men by Yahoo. Also, Kellogg and Leo Burnett say they have found that more dads are eating Frosted Flakes along with their children.

“Dads love to share the things that he is passionate about with his kid and Frosted Flakes and sports are two of those things,” said Kellogg Senior Marketing Director AnneMarie Suarez-Davis.

The campaign — which will air during adult programming on networks including ESPN — comes as Kellogg and other food advertisers face a new proposal by the federal government that would all but eliminate kid-targeted ads for sugary cereals such as Frosted Flakes. The industry, led by the Better Business Bureau’s Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, has countered with rules that are less strict, but still tighter than the initiative’s current guidelines. Indeed, the industry’s proposal — which would take effect in late 2013 — would bar Kellogg from running Frosted Flakes ads to kids unless the cereal is reformulated to lower its sugar content. The cereal now has 11 grams of sugar per serving, while the new rules would prohibit child-directed ads for breakfast cereals that have more than 10 grams of sugar.

The new campaign ostensibly allows Kellogg to keep Frosted Flakes top of mind with dads (and by extension, their kids) without running afoul of the new proposals. Still, Kellogg representatives said the planned crackdown in no way played a role in their new strategy. “This campaign came from the place of understanding that there was a big opportunity on Frosted Flakes up against dad,” not in response to external pressure, Ms. Suarez-Davis said. Indeed, Kellogg is still running a kid-focused campaign, which currently targets Little Leaguers, including a TV ad and website featuring baseball tips from Tony.

Of course, Tony still has his critics, including the Center for Science in the Public Interest, whose battle with Kellogg in 2006 and 2007 led the company to adopt nutrition standards for what it advertises to children, including barring kids’ ads for products with more than 200 calories per serving. (Frosted Flakes has 110.)

“At its best it is cynical advertising” to use a sugary cereal character to tell kids to exercise, said CSPI litigation director Stephen Gardner. “Eating Frosted Flakes and then going and running around the block are not going to solve the obesity crisis,” he said. But at the same time, he said there was “nothing deceptive” about the new dad ads and even credited Kellogg for spreading a good message of “eating and sharing sports with your kids.”

Tony’s appearance has changed quite a bit over the years since since he was first created by Leo Burnett in 1951 to sell the then-new cereal. He’s grown more muscles and now stands at six-feet-two. But in the past few decades, his sports-themed message has remained pretty consistent, such as a 1980s-era ad showing Tony interacting with kids at a volleyball game and explaining how the flakes can “bring out the tiger in you.” And the message has worked: Tony ranked No. 9 on Ad Age’s 1999 list of the Top 10 Advertising Icons of the Century, just behind Aunt Jemima and the Michelin Man.

Even Tony’s voice remained constant, forever supplied by Thurl Ravenscroft until he died a few years ago. Leo Burnett spent more than six months trying to find a suitable replacement before finally finding an actor who sounded similar. “We saw hundreds of people, even Thurl’s son we looked at,” said Craig Barnard, Leo Burnett senior VP-creative director. Tony’s “voice is so indentified with his character — that deep, loving, tender voice.” (He declined to name the replacement, although he said it is not Thurl’s son.)

Meantime, at age 60, Tony endures, outliving his mother, Mama Tony; his wife, Mrs. Tony; his daughter, Antoinette; and son, Tony Jr. — who were all introduced over the years but later dropped.

25 Keys to Getting Waaaaay More Out of Your Social Media Marketing

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Here are 25 keys to getting waaaaay more out of your social media marketing.

The Foundation

1. Develop a clear strategy
Stop everything! Before you go any further with your social media marketing, develop a clear, focused strategy. That is the most important step you can take. Don’t “do social.” Instead, be social. And understand exactly what that means for your business and your audience.

2. Define clear metrics

Do you know how to measure the success of your social efforts? Your efforts don’t necessarily need to be measured via hard revenue figures, but the metrics should go deep enough to guide your actions and ensure real value to your business.

3. Build scalability (tools, technologies, etc.)

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by social media. Use technology for social monitoring, management, posting, and measurement to help you scale your efforts—effectively managing multiple brands across multiple platforms. Otherwise, social media will overwhelm you.

4. Conduct competitive intelligence

What’s the competition up to? Monitor, monitor, monitor. What’s working well for them, and what isn’t?

5. Clarify roles and responsibilities

Who is responsible for what, internally? What are the time commitment and scheduling expectations? Have a well-thought-out action plan in place, so your social media efforts don’t become an afterthought—second to other day-to-day tasks.

6. Develop a reporting structure

Increase value by measuring and reporting results on a regular schedule so you can measure alignment with your goals and implement improvements in future initiatives.

7. Analyze the data

Like strategy, “analysis” is too often forgotten. Without a regular analysis schedule, you’re likely getting only half the possible value out of your social media marketing efforts because you’re not fully capturing insights and trends.


1. Create an innovation platform

Look at social media as an innovation petri dish. Test ideas, see what resonates, collect feedback, engage, and create new value for your customers.

2. Glean customer insights—ask questions

Ask your audience members what they want. Ask them again. And again.

3. Glean customer insights—listen and engage

Listen to what your customers have to say. There’s something akin to scraping one’s fingernails across a chalkboard when customers dish their hearts out and a company ignores their feedback. Instead, have a meaningful dialogue. Engage them, treat them with respect, and make them part of the process.

4. Crowdsource

These days, it seems you can crowdsource practically everything but the kitchen sink (wait, you actually can crowdsource the kitchen sink!). So, use social media platforms to help you develop your next product, solve your next problem, capture data for your next market research, etc.

Be Amazing

1. Brand your business

Express your branding and your personality in everything you do. Even if your products are boring, you don’t have to be.

2. Create a 90-day transformation plan

How can you become a better, stronger, and more powerful force? Define your ideal social media presence, then develop a 90-day step-by-step plan to transform your brand.

3. Answer questions

If someone calls you and asks a question, you answer. If he or she emails you a question, you answer. Social media is no different.

4. Provide superior customer support

Your business can learn a lot from online shoe retailer Zappos. The company does an amazing job of providing customer support via social media. So should you.

5. Give ’em some “WOW!”(surprise ’em!)

Shake things up, and completely wow your fans every now and then. Offer something that they will truly value; empower them; thrill them.

6. Mix it up

Instead of just promoting your blog posts via social media, mix up the content. Consider videos, podcasts, questions, contests, interviews, news, and downloads, and share others’ valuable content.

7. Incorporate current events

Has something important happened today? How are you using that to provide timely, contextually relevant information to your audience?

8. Integrate, integrate, integrate

Integrate all of your marketing so that your audience’s experience with your brand is consistent (and consistently awesome).

9. Help others

Strap on that Superman or Wonder Woman cape, and see how you can help others solve their problems.

Build Your Business

1. Build networks

Build relationships not only with your customers but also with influencers, the media, thought leaders, etc. See how you can help them.

2. Drive conversions

What do you want people to do? Make it clear through calls-to-action, and drive people to specific conversions.

3. Commerce and social commerce

If you are selling products, try selling via social platforms. If your audience responds positively, congratulations: You have one more channel. If not, use social media to reach other objectives.

4. Get local and get mobile

If you’re a local business, understand that mobile matters. Use place offers, check-ins, and whatever other new tools become available for local marketing in the future.

5. Advertise

Along with all the non-paid marketing you are doing, mix in some advertising. Facebook was responsible for roughly one-third of display advertising in the first quarter of 2011. There’s a reason it’s so popular.

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So, if you are feeling stuck, or you’re going around in circles with your social media efforts, take a step back and revamp your plans by following those 25 tips. Taking your social media marketing performance to the next level—and beyond—is within your reach.