Shreddies Story – How Funny Marketing Surprised and Engaged Customers

Think it’s tough to turn your reputation around or create new positioning? It’s never too late. Consider what Post Cereals’ ad agency did to breathe new life into a 60 year old product and the customer experience.

Shreddies was a breakfast cereal made of wheat squares and sold in Great Britain, Canada and New Zealand. Lagging sales and customers who didn’t want the cereal changed inspired the company to put their creative team to work.

The solution? They turned the cereal 45 degrees and introduced new and improved Diamond Shreddies! Customers would now have a “choice”.

Shreddies Funny Marketing Campaign

The company held hidden camera taste tests where customers said the Diamond Shreddies have more flavor!

They even created a Combo Pack for those who couldn’t make up their mind…

creative marketing

…and invited customers to vote at diamondshreddies.ca for the shape they preferred. Fans created 55 Facebook Groups, videos (see below) went viral and sales shot up 18 points in the first month of the campaign.

All because somebody risked being whacky and let customers in on the joke.

Yet decision-makers could easily have argued, “Harrumph! Shreddies is an established cereal with dignity. Why, it’s a tradition in generations of households. Making fun of our product is just NOT done! Customers wouldn’t take us seriously.”

And that’s just the point. We can’t always take ourselves so seriously. We should be able to:

1. Poke fun at ourselves once in a while. (Read a story where I did that) 

2. Use humor to combat unwarranted, bad reviews. While we don’t want to be disrespectful, there are times when customer requests are so bizarre, they just beg for a humorous response.

3. Overcome a reputation problem or disarm criticism. There are politicians who are very good at this.

4. Strengthen your brand (personal or professional). People with a good sense of humor tend to sleep better, get more promotions, the last piece of dessert and more dates.

5. Humanize a product, program or leadership team. Think of the company picnic dunk tank, employee baby picture contest, “Get Lucky” Trivago commercial or Geico gecko. (Did you know he’s written a book titled, You’re Only Human?)

People want a little levity in their lives, especially during these troubled times. We love humor! It surprises us, lightens our mood and helps us think more creatively. It can make us feel like we’re all in it together.

Read more about the Shreddies story.

Comments

  1. Excellent article Laura. Innovative and encouraging. Nothing ventured, nothing gained! Thinking outside of the box. Like you say, build it and they will come.

    Thank you for being who you are Laura.

    You are a blessing to many people!

    Have a great day my friend.

    Craig