Special K runs escape room-inspired pop-up

The Kellogg brand's recent activation challenged visitors to navigate through confusing fitness fads and diets.

Special K

For consumers faced with a slew of competing health and wellness trends, navigating their way to a healthy life can be a daunting challenge.

A recent pop-up by Special K called “Escape the Nonsense” placed this wellness journey in the context of an escape room, challenging guests to find their way through eight interactive installations revolving around different diets and fitness fads.

Special K-EscapeThe two-day pop-up, held on Jan. 25 and 26 in Toronto’s west-end, stems from the Kellogg brand’s 2015 “Own It” platform encouraging a female-skewing demographic to forget abiding by strict nutritional advice – and the guilty feelings associated with failing to meet them – in favour of making the food and wellness choices that work best for them.

“Attitudes towards health and wellness continue to shift and ‘Own It’ continues to move in conjunction with the trends in the market,” says Christine Jakovcic, VP marketing & nutrition of Kellogg Canada. “What’s most important to people now is feeling great. It’s much more important than looking great, because people are realizing that it’s common sense that is the right choice when it comes to making eating and wellness choices.”

Inspired by the escape room concept, the space allowed visitors to encounter instillations inspired by the many diet, fad and exercise programs they may have tried in the past, says Jakovcic. At the other end of the challenge, participants were provided a bowl of Special K cereal in a “highly-Instagrammable” environment, she says.

Special K-Own It“This pop-up, and any type of visual media where we’re able to get consumers to engage with our brand, proves to be quite effective. Especially because it’s an opportunity for people to actually taste the product.”

Historically, Special K has focused on female consumers, who tend to be more concerned about health and wellness, Jakovcic says. Though women remain its primary target, 45% of its customer base is actually men, so it has looked to make efforts like “Escape the Nonsense” more appealing to a broad consumer segment.

Whereas a previous campaign for the brand’s protein product emphasized physical strength, this one was “more about ditching  their food doubts by including only no-nonsense, wholesome ingredients in their products,” she says.

“Escape the Nonsense” was part of a larger campaign for Special K’s Nourish cereal and bars that includes 15- and 30-second TV and online video spots, as well as digital and social assets on Instagram and Twitter. New this year, it has partnered with a group of female influencers known as “Team Strong,” with which it will continue to work on social executions throughout the year.

Leo Burnett led on creative, Starcom on media and Strategic Objectives on PR and influencer relations.