KELLOGG TOUTING SIMPLICITY IN ADS FOR CORN FLAKES: CEREAL MARKETER ADDS NEW LINE, NAMES 3RD SHOP FOR FOODS UNIT

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Kellogg Co. is pushing on three fronts, with a new ad strategy for Kellogg's Corn Flakes from Leo Burnett USA, a new product being handled by J. Walter Thompson USA and a new agency added to its roster -- Y&R Advertising, for a nutraceutical product assignment.

In a national TV campaign that broke last week, Kellogg supplants its "Taste them again for the first time" theme for Corn Flakes with the new "Simple is good." The strategy is to link the brand's simplicity to simplifying one's life; executions will be tied to topical events.

TAX DAY TRAVAIL

The first spot focuses on tax day and shows an obviously agitated man trying to explain every deduction to an auditor. But the auditor's only concern is whether the man made a lot of money and paid most of it to the government.

According to Information Resources Inc., Corn Flakes' dollar sales for the 52 weeks ended Feb. 22 were down 4.7% to $204.3 million.

The new Corn Flakes effort coincides with the rollout of Breakfast Mates, a single-serve cereal in a plastic bowl with a 4-ounce aseptic package of milk and plastic spoon. Kellogg will market the four-item line in refrigerated sections of the supermarket, a first for the company.

Dannon Co. has agreed to handle distribution of the new line, which carries a suggested retail price of $1.29.

Kellogg is touting Breakfast Mates as fitting in with several consumer trends -- the movement toward food "kits," the search for home-style meal replacements and the need for portable products.

"While it's anticipated that the product will be consumed primarily by children, it also is designed to appeal to busy parents and singles who are looking for convenience," Kellogg said in a statement.

BREAKFAST MATES AT JWT

JWT, New York, will handle Breakfast Mates, receiving an estimated $8 million to $10 million TV and print push breaking July 20.

While a first for Kellogg, the all-in-one cereal, spoon and milk concept was first tried in the late 1980s by Ralston Purina Co., with a product called Cereal to Go. A cereal market executive said that product failed because while it was portable, it wasn't portable enough to be consumed on the run in a car or bus.

Also, Kellogg said last week it has awarded a nutraceutical product to Y&R, New York, adding a third major agency. The review for the product had been under way since last November (AA, Nov. 3).

Kellogg said the product, from its Functional Foods Division, was taken outside the current roster to distance it and the division from the mainline cereal unit.

The Functional Foods Division's first product isn't expected for months; spending on the Y&R assignment initially is expected to be well below $10 million.

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