THE BUYER Dominic Mills, Haymarket Publishing

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

consumption habits.

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

above-the-line work.

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.


Kellogg’s has been targeting customers through Leo Burnett in the UK

since the 40s. Here the breakfast cereal company responds to Dominic

Mills’s piece.

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

they do.

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