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Sponsoring the Story

Posted by: Cameron Dunnet on July 17, 2012

Kellogg's Great Starts 

 You can’t beat the excitement of the Olympics. For me, they’re the ultimate spectacle of human possibility. Finely tuned athletes from around the world proving that records are made to be broken. Or smashed in style if you’re Usain Bolt.

But it’s not just the physical feats that draw friends and families to TVs everywhere, it’s the stories that unfold and capture our imagination — remember Eric the Eel? We become emotionally invested in the struggle, the dedication and the passion that drives these inspirational athletes.

Not surprisingly, brands tap into the storytelling power of the Olympics (cue Morgan Freeman). And by now we’ve all seen the tear-fest viral hit from P&G, or even the wordless, poignant short-film, Boy, sponsored by British Airways. But being part of the emotion of the Olympics doesn’t always mean you need a tearjerker. Brands like Kellogg’s are using their association to brighten up the day with a belief true to their heart.

As part of its most extensive Team USA sponsorship ever, Kellogg’s is running a campaign titled ‘From great starts comes great things.’ Through a series of candid videos we see and hear some humble, inspiring stories of how several athletes get going every day — no prizes for guessing breakfast is involved — with cameos from friends and family. The campaign is primarily driven by digital, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and of course can be found on cereal boxes.

“We are proud to partner with U.S. athletes who believe — as we do — that the power of breakfast is crucial to a great start,” said Kellogg's North America President Brad Davidson. “Team Kellogg’s is an amazing group of athletes who remind fans everywhere that each day is filled with the potential to achieve your goals, both big and small, when you start off right.”

What makes this campaign significant is the resonance it creates for the brand’s recent global refresh, launched in the U.S and Canada this year.

The refresh—the most significant in Kellogg’s history—was launched to elevate the nutritional role of the masterbrand and connect consumers with a brand experience beyond just breakfast.

“At the heart we talked about a belief, and we believe — and you’d expect this from our heritage of 100 years — that a better breakfast leads to a better day,” says Mark Baynes, Kellogg’s Chief Marketing Officer, “But the emotive point that we can leverage is each day really represents a fresh start to realize life’s possibilities, and as a result, we exist to fuel better days and better lives for everyone we touch.”

By extending the brand experience into a day of possibilities, Kellogg’s begins to mean more than just cereal in a box. Instead, the brand connects to the story on the other end of the spoon — the day of the consumer, wherever it leads.

The fact that the Team Kellogg’s campaign is playing a big part in amplifying this brand idea is easy to see. That’s where its strength lies. It’s a clear and authentic extension of a renewed purpose and presence in the lives of the consumer. A powerful use of Olympic stories without the tissues.

[Note: As indicated in the links above to coverage of its brand refresh, Kellogg’s is a client of Interbrand.]

Cameron Dunnet is Consultant for Interbrand’s Verbal Identity.

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