The Kellogg's Special K Kick-Start Diet, backed up by a Purdue University study, positions the cereals as a meal replacement a la Unilever's Slim-Fast.
Kellogg already plays in the diet arena with its Kashi GoLean Slimming System, a line of natural meal-replacement cereals, bars and shakes.
Three boxes in two weeks
According kelloggs.com, the Kick-Start plan requires individual consumers to eat three boxes of cereal over the two-week period. Packaging for Special K will feature the diet plan through February.
The ad campaign offers a humorous twist on testimonials typical to diet ads that "work but are painful to look at," said Gary Doyle, senior vice president and creative director, Leo Burnett.
The ads feature people talking about what they didn't have to go through to lose weight on the Kick-Start diet, such as the all-puree diet or the corn juice diet.
Kellogg's cereal sales were virtually flat at $2.17 billion for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 2, while leader General Mills saw its cereal sales fall 3.1% to $2.2 billion, according to Information Resources Inc.