To reach ‘tweens,’ Kellogg puts an emphasis on identity

As consumers’ tastes and interests evolve, so must familiar slogans and icons. Here’s how brand managers at the makers of Frosted Flakes are updating a highly recognizable mascot.

Anyone who has eaten cereal in the last 65 years probably knows Tony the Tiger and his trademark slogan, “They’re Gr-r-reat!”

It’s one of Kellogg’s most memorable marketing phrases—and now, it’s changing.

Tony is getting an update—and Kellogg’s marketers are integrating more social media into the campaign.

To help marketers pin down a new message—and potential audience—Frosted Flakes surveyed preteen adolescents (9- to 14-year-olds) and dads.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Seventy percent of tweens wish they had more opportunities to share with others what makes them great, and roughly 60 percent would be more likely to share what makes them great if they had more encouragement.

  • All of the tween survey respondents said they feel comfortable truly being themselves at home.

  • Roughly 80 percent of dads said they wish their tween had more opportunities to share what makes him/her great with others.

The outcome? “Let Your Gr-r-reat Out.”

Making what’s old new again

Greatness has long been a theme for Frosted Flakes. When seeking to improve and expand the theme, marketers decided to focus on a new target audience: tweens and dads.

From Christie Crouch, associate director for brand marketing for Kellogg:

We took a hard look at our audience insights and realized that Frosted Flakes is a cereal that appeals to the whole family (60 percent of consumption comes from kids and 40 percent from adults), but that Tony the Tiger was less familiar to tweens. While he’s the second most recognizable brand icon for Dads, we knew we needed to take a fresh approach to make Tony and the brand relevant in 2016.

More and more fathers are buying groceries, which for Frosted Flakes means more opportunities to engage with dads who share breakfast with their kids.

To reach tween consumers and dads, the campaign stresses the importance of a “true identity” and presents a revamped image for Tony.

From the survey:

As part of the “Let Your Gr-r-reat Out” program, Kellogg’s is unveiling an even greater Tony the Tiger. He’s the same cat he always has been, just with some new tricks and a new sense of his own greatness – he’s a Tony that can not only walk, run and dance, but also talk, sing and share his message directly with fans.

True identity is truly important. New data show kids heading back to school this year may need an extra push to share their greatness: [Roughly] 95 percent of tweens said it’s important for them to be their true selves, and 91 percent said that they have more fun when they are able to share what makes them great with others.

Crouch adds:

With the help of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, Tony’s vocabulary now goes far beyond “They’re Gr-r-reat!” and he’s got moves like never before.

Tony’s decline—and reemergence

Nielson reported a declining familiarity of Tony the Tiger among tweens—despite the cereal’s popularity.

His depiction in Kellogg’s most recent campaign isn’t the tiger’s first makeover.

From Ad Age:

Tony’s appearance has changed quite a bit over the years since he was first created by Leo Burnett in 1951. 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.” 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.

In addition to an appearance change, Tony is taking to social media. Users can follow him on Twitter @RealTonyTiger and share their content with him via the hashtag #LetYourGreatOut.

From press materials:

The brand has seen the largest growth in three years in the last four-week period, which can be attributed to the brand’s new positioning with tweens and dads and its newly-relevant Tony the Tiger.

From Crouch:

We’ve taken a fresh approach by redefining our audience and focusing more on tweens. The “Let Your Gr-r-reat Out” message is a fun and unique way to spark interest and excitement around a classic Kellogg’s cereal that consumers know and love.

What do you think, Ragan readers? Can a refreshed image and new target audience give Frosted Flakes a boost?

(Image via)

Topics: PR

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