A New Angle on an Old Cereal

As a retailer, part of my job has to do with marketing — and I’ll freely admit that I’m not very good at it.

That’s why I am so full of admiration for the new Shreddies campaign. Shreddies is a Post cereal brand, manufactured by Kraft for sale in Canada, the UK, and New Zealand. It’s made with whole wheat (the jingle I remember from my childhood ran: “Good, good whole wheat Shreddies!”) and pressed into a lattice-woven square about three-quarters of an inch on a side. A good cereal, but hardly exciting any more (it has been sold since 1955 — a baby boomer cereal), and therein lies the challenge for the marketer. How does one take a venerable brand like Shreddies and refresh it for the purposes of advertising, without tinkering with the product itself?

Thanks to the genius of Hunter Somerville, of Toronto’s Ogilvy and Mather advertising agency, the world can now enjoy new “Diamond Shreddies”.

The subtle irony implicit in this parody of corporate “re-branding” is squarely on the money, right down to the ridiculous questions asked of the faux “focus groups” (the participants were not in on the joke: one question asked the participants to “Rank Diamond Shreddies as an animal, from an amoeba up to an elephant”.

A brilliant campaign like “Diamond Shreddies” shows us what it is possible to do, and see, just by tilting our field of view 45 degrees.

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