Post Foods tests Snapchat marketing with Honey Bunches of Oats campaign

By Adi Menayang

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: Honey Bunches of Oats/YouTube
Photo: Honey Bunches of Oats/YouTube

Related tags Brand management Rolled oats Wheat

With Snapchat ads, a personalized ad generator, and the tagline “THIS. IS. EVERYTHING.,” Post Foods LLC believes it has the tools to target younger Millennials with surgical precision.

The brand is launching what it calls a “360-degree marketing campaign,”​ anchored on a TV spot, both in Spanish and English, that mashes memes and viral videos with pop culture references.

Members of the public can then make their own version of the commercial through a website​ by uploading their pictures to be swapped out of the original spot. Each created personal ad has a chance to win $10,000 when uploaded between Aug. 29 until Oct. 31, 2016.

The biggest part of the campaign is their ad placement in the mobile app Snapchat’s 'Snap Ads Between Friends' feature, which the company said is Post Food’s first foray with the popular app.

“THIS.IS.EVERYTHING.  is meant to showcase how Honey Bunches of Oats offers the ultimate cereal experience with its unique blend of crispy flakes, crunchy granola oat clusters and sweet touch of honey,”​ Ann Stockman, senior brand manager, Honey Bunches of Oats, told FoodNavigator-USA.

Why Snapchat? Here’s how it works…

For readers unfamiliar with the app and how it works, here’s a quick brief: Snapchat is a mobile app that lets users share a picture or video under 10 seconds with friends, family, or any other follower, which disappears once opened. These videos and pictures can be decked-out with drawings, geotags specific to an area, text, and filters.

Late last year the app introduced 'Lenses,' officially bringing our society closer to the space age​ by letting users, among other things, swap faces, distort their voices, and add make-up or accessories that follow their faces’ movement in video snaps.

Another feature is the 'Story' function, where instead of sending directly to a person, the user’s photos and videos get collected and saved in a sequence for 24 hours. These saved parcels of media ('Snap Stories') can be viewed by all of the user’s followers for that 24 hours.

You may be inclined to think “that sounds like a useless app,”​ but the app’s 150 million daily users, as reported by Bloomberg​, make it a force to be reckoned with. The number of daily users exceeds Twitter by 10 million, and advertisers are noticing​.

“The Honey Bunches of Oats Snapchat campaigns really fit with the platform’s advertising offering and make sense with how users typically interact with Snapchat,"​ said Justin Sparks, associated director of search, social, and ecommerce at the company MediaVest//Spark, the agency that designed Honey Bunches of Oats' campaign. "It’s a variety of product, lifestyle and branding packaged together to be entertaining and not disrupt the user. The content for this campaign is fun, punchy and snackable. It plays well with or without sound, catches one’s attention quickly but doesn’t lose its branding value – all within 10 seconds or less.”

Getting the Honey Bunches of Oats name out there

“We want to build awareness for the uniqueness of the cereal and drive consumers to try a box if they haven’t already. For this campaign, we are targeting adults with a focus on Millennials, knowing this audience is buying cereal and are faced with a lot options as they go to the store,”​ Stockman said.

The cold cereal category’s soggy performance​ is no news to the food industry. The latest data from Nielsen reveals the category is still in decline, dropping 0.8% in dollar sales in the 52 weeks ending July 2, 2016. Compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over four years is down 2.5%.

But certain subcategories are on the rise, such as kids honey cereal (up 36.8% in the last year). “This could be attributed to 1) focus on healthier cereal options and 2) households with children still driving the category forward,”​ Nielsen told FoodNavigator-USA.

The brand’s ad will appear in the 'Story' section of Snapchat, in between the personal footage sequences created by a user’s friends and family. This way, the brand’s image will be seen in the palms of millions of users in the US, a quarter of which use the application daily.

“We are targeting Millennials and think that our commercial is very social focused, which makes Snap Ads Between Friends a great fit for our message and target,”​ Julie Hewitt, integrated marketing communications manager, Honey Bunches of Oats, told FoodNavigator-USA.

Honey Bunches of Oats joins other cold cereal brands launching campaigns that invites the public to interact with it—for example, General Mills recently launched a campaign​ that invites consumers to post rabbit videos on social media with the hashtag #RabbitShowdown in an effort to promote its cleaner labels.

Related topics Manufacturers Breakfast cereals

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