Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Which is more effective; targeting the user or the buyer?


On March 26, Ralcorp Holding announced that they were launching a new campaign for Post Grape Nuts cereal, targeting men, who apparently have been the primary eaters of the product all along.

The web based campaign features a special website on MSN with dozens of two minute videos hosted by ESPN personality Kenny Mayne. The site offers “The Guy’s Manual” with tips on topics like restoring cars, and advice on things such as how to ask for a raise during a recession. Print ads will run in Sports Illustrated. The new tagline, developed by Ogilvy & Mather is: “That takes Grape Nuts”.

Before the brand was bought last year, Kraft ran advertising for it targeting women gatekeepers with ads on daytime soaps and Oprah, focusing on a healthy eating message. The premise was that since they women were doing the buying, they were the decision makers. But are they? I usually ask my husband what cereals he would like before I go to the store. The article referenced below, was written by a man who thinks it’s about time. What do you think?

Seymour, C. (2009). Grape nuts: New Advertising Campaign Targets Men. Retrived April 6, 2009 from

1 comment:

  1. COMMENTS (4)
    Elise Rossell:
    I think it's a great idea for Grape Nuts to target men if they are the ones primarily eating the cereal. While, overall, married women still dedicate more time to household duties than their male counterparts, men are nonetheless contributing at a steadily increasing rate to domestic chores, including grocery shopping. This advertising campaign could therefore speak to both married men who do not do the household grocery shopping themselves, but nonetheless have input when it comes to their spouses' purchasing choices, as well as men who are directly making grocery purchases. The latter could include married men who work from home as well as divorced and single men. What it means to be a husband and/or a father has evolved in the past few decades and continues to do so. It is time advertising, especially for products favored by men, reflected this shift.
    Posted by Elise Rossell | April 6, 2009 9:47 PM

    Posted on April 6, 2009 21:47
    It seems to me that Grape Nuts wants to make sure that their primary target remains their primary target. I'm wondering if when companies branch out is where most of them lose focus and start to struggle with their message.
    As for who does the buying, most of the older couples (and younger couples for that matter), I think this is somewhat split. Just from my experience, my mother would go shopping on Sundays, but my father would go out in "emergencies" like if they were out of milk late at night.
    Overall. I think this is a great idea. Men are eating this stuff and men are in supermarkets - that's my experience anyway - so this should be successful.
    Posted by Michael | April 7, 2009 11:24 AM

    Posted on April 7, 2009 11:24
    Emy Kanashiro:
    I definitely think it's about time. Men, now more so than ever, are becoming more health conscious. They worry about their cholesterol, weight, heart and other health issues. So it only seems logical that they are deciding what cereals to eat and choosing the healthier ones. I also believe that guys are starting to live healthier lifestyles at a much earlier age than before. Men used to worry about their health when becoming more mature, but now I see many young men choosing to live healthy, eating organic and exercising. I believe more and more brands are going to start targeting men, when before they focused their marketing efforts on women. Men are having more input when it comes to grocery shopping, women are becoming stronger in the workforce. Times change, we evolve and thus, so does the marketplace.
    Posted by Emy Kanashiro | April 7, 2009 11:58 AM

    Posted on April 7, 2009 11:58
    Meredith Darts:
    I think for this case, it makes sense to target the true target buyers who are men. As mentioned, men are becoming more involved in day-to-day activities, including grocery trips. The author of the article makes an excellent point - if I never see, touch, or am even aware of its existence, chances are I won't tell my wife about it. Grape Nuts has a potential to expose itself to a large group of unmarried men, who probably have never even heard of it before. However, my bigger question is in regards to the previous campaign. How did men become the largest consumers if they were not directly exposed to it in the media? Did they eat it because they genuinely liked it or was it because their wives bought it for them, and said "eat it, it's good for you"? And why weren't women actually consuming the product they bought for their families?
    I hope that before it launched this new strategy, Ralcorp Holding surveyed males to get their true thoughts on the cereal. I think in the long term it will be interesting to see the results of the campaign, and how it may be applied to future domestic items.
    Posted by Meredith Darts | April 7, 2009 3:23 PM