THE BUYER Dominic Mills, Haymarket Publishing
Group editorial director, Dominic Mills, continues the series in which
Campaign staff see how a product or service lives up to the promise of
the marketing. This time, the offer of pounds 10,000 proves too much to
resist as it drops on to his doormat and he finds himself contemplating
his breakfast habits - or not.
Over the past two years, adland has been driven by talk of the move by
fmcg companies from TV to direct marketing. But because it’s direct,
precise evidence is hard to come by. Until last week, that is, when a
Kellogg’s mailshot landed on the doormat of the Mills household.
Inside: a covering letter with two 30p-off coupons against Corn Flakes
(why not any Kellogg’s brand?); a leaflet that explains, rather
hectoringly, why a Kellogg’s breakfast is better than anything else; and
a questionnaire, the return of which makes me eligible for the pounds
10,000 prize draw. This is key - if Kellogg’s is to make a go of direct
marketing it needs to know a) its customers and b) their cereal
The big puzzle: why was it addressed to me? Sure, I’m a New Man, but my
role in the weekly supermarket shop is minimal. This mailshot would have
been better addressed to my wife (or the children, who are the real
Still, the plus point is that the mailshot, from typeface and colour
scheme to strategy, is clearly integrated with the current
However, the mailshot is littered with sanctimonious guff about how
’Kellogg’s is concerned about the issue of the nation’s health’. Filling
in the questionnaire, we are told, will help Kellogg’s ’serve you better
and produce cereals that provide a healthy nutritious start to the day’.
Oh yeah? Surely, if the company was serious, the questionnaire would
elicit information about what we want from breakfast rather than only
what cereals we consume. But I’m after that ten grand so I’m filling in
the questionnaire, even if I have to make up some of the answers.
THE SELLER - KELLOGG’S
Kellogg’s has been targeting customers through Leo Burnett in the UK
since the 40s. Here the breakfast cereal company responds to Dominic
Welcome to the wonderful world of database marketing where we can
pinpoint a consumer’s habits in a way which other media can only dream
Your disappointment at receiving a brand-specific coupon is easy to
understand considering the range of Kellogg’s cereals. However,
marketers have come a long way since the buckshot couponing approach of
yesteryear and now like to employ a little strategic thought in what
We do have a small issue with your claim to be a New Man (maybe Mrs
Mills would like to venture an opinion on this?). Kellogg’s writes to
many New Men on a regular basis who would not be slow in coming forward
if they felt a Kellogg’s communication was too ’mum’ biased, or that
their childcare role was not sufficiently acknowledged.
And with children in mind, we couldn’t agree more that children play a
big role in choosing breakfast cereal. But Kellogg’s believes it must
not come between parents and their offspring, particularly when it comes
to deciding what’s best for a child.
If you are lucky enough to receive any more of our mailings in future,
look out for our ’Kids Korner’ spread, which is full of things for your
children to do. Or look out for your invitation to the Kellogg’s
Experience which will be visiting your area in June and will provide
entertainment and nutrition information.
We’re sorry you found the copy to be ’hectoring’ - we prefer to think of
it as being succinct yet packed full of information.
Finally, we are delighted that you will be completing the
Please don’t forget that Kellogg’s future targeting of one-to-one
communications can only be as good as the information we receive - so if
you make up those answers we can’t be responsible for the relevance and
accuracy of what may land on your doormat in future.
P.S We do hope you and your family are getting a lot of fun out of your
Frosties Bat Shield!
We’re aware that our consumers have little free time, but want to know
what’s best for their families in terms of health and nutrition - and
research has shown that no brand is better regarded in this area than