February 1, 2009

Kellogg’s Ad Misses the Purpose of Charity

TonyTheTigerI admit, I enjoy football and watching the Super Bowl advertisements. While I am a bit surprised at the $3million price tag for a thirty-second spot, I put aside friendly competition between Advertising and Public Relations just to soak it all in.
I like the funny commercials. Therefore, Bud Light’s Conan O’Brien and both Doritos commercials (Crystal Ball and Strong Snack) consisted of my commercial trifecta. The Bridgestone Potato Head commercial was also a classic. On the flip side, I was surprised that Avon’s ad was so bland. Go Daddy pushed the envelope, leveraging Danica Patrick’s assets.
But the one commercial that really caught my attention was Kellogg’s and their Plant a Seed campaign. The program, through a well done commercial, boasts about Kellogg’s benefiting the inner cities by reseeding and rehabilitating ball fields. When I saw the ad, I thought, “good for them.” But then I thought again, how much are they spending on the program? Is it more than the cost to buy the air time, $3 million?
I went to the website and read the rules:
Thirty (30) Grand Prizes – An Athletic Field Makeover in Sponsor’s discretion based upon consultation with field makeover experts and consistent with Kellogg’s Worldwide Marketing and Communications Guidelines and the Council of Better Business Bureau’s Children’s Food and Beverage Initiative (ARV – not to exceed $15,000 ea. field makeover). Total ARV of all prizes – not to exceed $450,000.
That’s right, no more than $450 thousand dollars will be spent by Kellogg on a maximum 30 possible makeovers.
If Kellogg had put its money where its mouth is, instead of using money to shoot its mouth off, 200 additional programs could be funded from the cost of a thirty-second Super Bowl spot (not to mention the cost to make the commercial and custom song which are all available on the special website).
Make no mistake, the $15K makeovers will be a big boon to the winning communities. I do applaud Kellogg for investing in community. But when the cost to toot your horn is so prohibitively more expensive than the gift being given, one has to wonder about the true motives.
Sorry Tony the Tiger, this form of community relations is far from Grrrreat!

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