The story of Shreddies is a great example of how a brand can gain intangible value without making any changes to its product
Shreddies had gotten boring in the eyes of Canadians. The 70-year-old brand was in decline and there was no fresh product innovation to draw attention to it.
For those who don’t know, Shreddies is a square-shaped latticed wholewheat breakfast cereal made in England, Canada, and New Zealand more than 60 years ago.
In 2008, Ogilvy & Mather Toronto was hired by Kraft Foods to build a campaign to bring Shreddies back to the top of the breakfast market. The product’s quality was judged to be good, even though sales were not. – in fact, the taste was described as evocative of childhood and remained well-loved by many consumers. Because there were so many other fascinating breakfast options, they didn’t give much thought to the Shreddies’ reputation for dependability, health, and purity.
A New Life
Hunter Somerville, a 26-year-old intern at Ogilvy, jokingly held up a Shreddie and said, “It’s not a square, it’s a diamond.” It was a joke to Somerville, but Nancy Vonk, who headed the creative team, saw the potential for much more and urged him to pursue the idea. That’s how they came up with Diamond Shreddies— A new product with the same physical properties as the original, but with a different look. The product was available in two shapes: traditional and diamond and customers could select the one they preferred. “Combo Pack” was also available, which reportedly included both versions.
Rebranding efforts included billboards, TV advertisements, printed media, a website with an online movie, and new box packaging with the Diamond Shreddies emblem – all in the brand’s distinctive bright yellow colour. As a result of the campaign’s wacky and amusing style, it quickly became popular on a variety of social media platforms and in blogs and forums. There was one video in particular that went popular on YouTube that depicted a consumer focus group sampling the ordinary and diamond shreddies. Websites like Shreddies.com stated that “Recent advances in cereal technology have allowed us to take Shreddies cereal to a whole new level of geometric superiority”.
With an increase in market share of 18 per cent in the first month, and numerous accolades, including the 2008 Grand Clio Award, the campaign was a huge success. There is no better example of how a shift in attitude can reinvigorate a product like Diamond Shreddies.
Advertisement campaigns like Diamond Shreddies, which successfully combined different types of humour, demonstrated that beyond humour there are effective ways to persuade your customers to buy your product by understanding and respecting them.
The “square VS diamond” gimmick became a sort of in-joke with customers as a result of the campaign’s use of sarcasm. The advertising campaign’s message became more powerful as consumers’ attitudes toward Shreddies shifted as a result of the campaign’s memorable use of humour. As a result, the Shreddies brand became more likeable and enjoyable.
As a bonus, Shreddies did not undervalue the consumer’s ability to realise that the original and Diamond Shreddies were the same product and that the campaign was a joke ridiculing industry traditions and a spoof of the Shreddie’s brand. Shreddies products are more likely to be purchased if people have positive views and ideas about the brand.
The story of Shreddies is a great example of how a brand can gain intangible value without making any changes to its product.