Special K Wants Women to 'Own it' in High-Profile Return to Leo Burnett

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Special K is out with a new take on female empowerment through eating, telling women to "Own It" in the brand's first TV commercial since its return to longtime creative agency Leo Burnett.

The brand has for the past few years emphasized women's joy and overall wellness, distancing itself from the longtime diet-focused messages that originally helped make the brand to a key part of Kellogg Co.'s portfolio. The more recent approach began with Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett in 2015, designed as a cure for slumping sales, and continued briefly with WPP's JWT, which won the brand's U.S. account shortly thereafter and did one campaign.

But Leo Burnett got the business back in January, restoring to its portfolio a major account that had previously been with the shop since 1950. The stakes for Kellogg are just as significant.

The first work since the brand and agency's reunion breaks Monday, with a commercial featuring the new tagline "Own It." The spot is meant to show women's confidence in their daily lives and how they can also "own" their choices when it comes to what they eat. Women are shown juggling parenthood, work, and personal time, with Special K cereals and snacks fueling their pursuits.

Some of the moments in the 30-second spot might seem realistic: removing one's bra while plopping down on the couch in sweatpants, eating cereal straight from the box, drying a child's clothing with the hand dryer in a public bathroom, or nursing a baby while munching on a snack bar. The spot mentions some of the better-for-you ingredients in Special K products, including almonds and quinoa. It also gives a little plug to women eating chocolate (in the form of the brand's Protein Bites).

"We Don't Doubt It, We Own It," the main woman in the commercial says at the end, as she eats a bowl of Special K Red Berries. The words "Own It" appear in the brand's signature red on the screen.

Recently, Kellogg was again airing some Leo Burnett commercials that began in April 2015, with women leaping and shots of Special K Red Berries and milk as Special K's attributes were discussed over the Icona Pop song "I Love It." The tagline "Eat Special. Feel Special." was used in those spots.

Its JWT work, "Fortify," ran in early 2016 and focused on its then-new Special K Nourish, with lines including: "You're strong. And we're here to help you stay that way."

"Own It" now replaces "Eat Special. Feel Special." The new Leo Burnett commercial is the first part of a broader campaign that will soon include social, online, print, shopper marketing, and public relations.

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