IPA Effectiveness Awards 2004: Bronze Award - Weetabix


Campaign: Energy

Client: Weetabix Ltd

Agency: FCB London

Principal authors: Kit Fordham, FCB London; Justin Pahl, FCB London;

Louise Burrows, FCB London; Nick Alford, FCB London

Media used: TV, print, PR, press, outdoor, ambient


A change in Weetabix's strategy paved the way for advertising that shot the iconic breakfast brand to the top spot in the UK's ready-to-eat cereal market for the first time in its 70-year history, snaffling Kellogg's Cornflakes' crown.

This case shows how effective advertising can boost sales in the long term. In 2002, Weetabix adopted a strategy based around "energy", a product truth which hadn't been used in its advertising since the 60s. The campaign needed a creative solution that was both intrusive and inclusive to re-establish the brand's raison d'etre.

The campaign, "generating energy for everyone", rubber-stamped the brand's role in a fast-changing morning foods market that had been encroached on by the growth of on-the-go breakfast cereal bars. The solution lay in the nutritional properties of wholewheat - energy release over a sustained period.

The energy idea was then articulated through a variety of different media, from a crop circle in the shape of a plug, to actors on the London Underground evangelising about how full of energy they were. This supported traditional media including TV (for the launch campaign), posters and press.

The long-loved brand was to attract even greater affection - and greater full-priced sales. The initial ad investment of £5.5 million will, the paper claims, account for £31.5 million of Weetabix's total value sales within three years.

The judges' view

This paper describes how strategic and creative reinvention drove Weetabix to brand leadership over Kellogg's for the first time. The case study also presents new academic evidence describing long-term "decay" effects.

The judges praised the paper for attempting to measure the ROI of a mature FMCG brand.

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