Frosted Flakes celebrates its sports legacy

The cereal brand is reconnecting with young men watching hockey at home through nostalgia for Tony the Tiger.
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Kellogg’s Canada is using nostalgia for Tony the Tiger to rebuild their connection with young men that are now grown up – and hunkered down on their couch to watch the NHL playoffs.

The cereal brand and the NHL are both teaming up with former Toronto Maple Leafs’ captain Wendel Clark to inspire Canadians to remain energized during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs and let loose with their own “Cereal Celly” (an abbreviation of celebration), sharing it on Facebook and Instagram throughout the playoffs. The campaign officially launched on Tuesday, the first night of the first round of the playoffs, with Clark making the media rounds as an ambassador and spokesperson.

As part of the “Cereal Celly” campaign, Leo Burnett created a 15-second spot, showing a hockey fan visualizing himself playing in a game and scoring a goal, assisted by Tony the Tiger. The fan then proceeds to celebrate with an actual bowl of Frosted Flakes on the ice.

Kellogg’s has been a partner of the NHL for three years, but what is different this year is that hockey viewing has skewed strongly to home due to the pandemic. Christine Jakovcic, VP of marketing and nutrition at Kellogg’s Canada, notes that the NHL has roughly 18 million fans – a large contingent of which is in Canada – and 86% of those fans are watching hockey at home, based on data and insights Kellogg’s Canada has received from the NHL.

“It’s quite a critical space,” she says, adding that it overlaps nicely with Kellogg’s own 70% household penetration.  “For brands like Frosted Flakes, with such a strong heritage in sports, to be tapping into that occasion, we see it as quite critical.”

The homes Kellogg’s has its sights set on are ones containing males between the ages of 18 and 34, who will be very familiar with the brand’s connection to sports.

“They’re now dads, or single men, who grew up with Frosted Flakes,” Jakovcic says. “They love the brand because of their connection with Tony the Tiger, who was seen as a bit of a player-coach in sports – really encouraging sports and encouraging people to participate and excel.”

Even outside of sports, cereal-eating occasions have increased in recent months due to stay-at-home and work-from-home mandates, which presented an opportunity for Kellogg’s and the Frosted Flakes brand.

“We typically see in the cereal category that people consume quite a lot when there’s kids at home. Then, when they get to become teenagers, they’re eating more away from home,” Jakovcic says. “This is a nice opportunity to reconnect them with the category.”

This is the first year Kellogg’s has done a campaign like “Cereal Celly.” The brand planned to go on air with this campaign earlier this year, prior to what would have been the official start of the NHL playoffs, but the campaign was delayed when the season was paused on Mar. 12.

In 2018, the Frosted Flakes’ brand partnered with former Toronto Maple Leaf, Darcy Tucker, for their “Grrreatest Beard” campaign. The campaign highlighted one of the many “unique superstitions” that “help” catapult teams to victory in the Stanley Cup Playoffs – namely, growing a playoff beard. The campaign offered Canadians the opportunity to grow a virtual playoff beard and enter for the chance to win one-of-three all-expense paid trips for four to the 2018 Stanley Cup Final.

Spend is allocated from last year’s budget and is the same as it would have been, had the campaign not been cancelled. The media buy for this campaign was handled by Starcom. Strategic Objectives was the PR agency partner.