If this wasn’t true it would belong in the jokes section of the any magazine. Kraft foods has a breakfast cereal that’s only available in Canada, United Kingdom and New Zealand called Shreddies. The cereal is made from shredded wheat and is square. It’s been in production in the UK since 1926, and has gone relatively unchanged ever since. That is until 2008 when square Shreddies were turned into diamond shreddies, and an ad campaign was made to associate the “revolutionary” change.
As with all consumer products, the manufacturers are always on the lookout for new ways to market their product. But how do you market a square shaped, wheat based breakfast cereal? You simply rotate the square 45 degrees and re-market it as NEW Diamond Shreddies, and couple it with an intense ad campaign, just as they did in Canada. We kid you not, they actually did this. What’s more surprising about this marketing ploy is that it worked! It worked real well.
Sales of the new Diamond Shreddies soared by 18 percent in the first month alone. There were more than 265 press stories covering the new design. Real life video testimonials (that’s real people, not actors) even showed that people said they even tasted better, were crunchier, and looked more appealing. All this and nothing at all had changed, except for its orientation on the packet.
Kraft soon hit upon a new marketing gimmick following the success of the Diamond Shreddies ad campaign. A mixed box of “regular” square Shreddies and the “new” Diamond Shreddies. Fucking brilliant, right? These guys could sell ice to Eskimos and sand to Arabia.
Accordingly, Kraft won several marketing campaign awards, including the Canadian Marketing Association’s 2008 “Best of the Best” Award, along with gold medals in the “Creative Budget Over $100,000” and “Brand Advertising” categories. Unfortunately, it doesn’t exactly reflect too well on the intelligence of the Canadian consumers who fell for the clever ploy.
It just goes to show how simple it is to fool some people.