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Kellogg's Special K ditches diet talk in new campaign

Breakfast brand wants to shift women's attitudes towards health and diet

Special K is ditching the diet talk for a more positive message: “own it.”

The Kellogg’s-owned breakfast brand has undergone a major repositioning, encouraging women to shed their doubts and focus on what they can actually change versus getting hung up on the things they can’t.

Special K is historically known for supporting women’s weight management. For years, the brand’s advertising touted its diet plan and featured slender women wearing the perfect red dress. But a shift in women’s attitudes towards health and diet prompted the brand to shelve the red dress and create the new “Own It” platform.

, we learned that women today have evolved. And while their priorities haven’t changed—they’re still committed to health, beauty, exercise and diet—they’re taking a new approach and they have a new mindset,” says Natasha Millar, senior director, ready-to-eat cereals and beverages at Kellogg Canada Inc.

“We’ve seen them move from quick-fix weight loss fads to longer-term overall health-oriented goals. We’ve seen her stance on diet really evolve. It’s no about starvation, calorie counting and deprivation. It’s really about putting good food in her body that helps fuel her and achieve her goals.”

The new “Own It” campaign is rooted in the insight that every day, almost all Canadian women (97%) have an “I hate my body moment.” A 60-second spot shows various women looking disappointed with a particular body feature, while a voiceover encourages viewers to change their perspective, and “tell that little voice inside that tells us we’re not good enough to shut up.” It ends with a rallying cry for women to “own it all.”

“What we’re hoping is that we evolve the brand from being seen as a dated diet brand to one that inspires confidence in women by partnering on her journey to being her best self,” says Millar.

The spot is airing on television nationally and has been posted to YouTube. The campaign also includes print ads in women’s magazines such as Chatelaine and Best Health and online advertising. Most of the women in the ads are not models or actors – they were found through a street casting in Toronto.

Special K is also making its first big foray into social media, with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram activations. “We want to talk to women in relevant channels, so where modern women are having conversations today, and this is definitely part of the evolution of Special K,” says Millar.

In-store marketing includes at-shelf media banners, POS and display materials such as tent cards. In the New Year, Special K is launching a promotion that encourages women to embrace the New Year by letting go of self-doubt. The promotion will also include an on-pack offer. Millar also says Special K is launching some new products in the New Year.

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