[UPDATE: Wheaties FUEL Twitter bot/intern let me and a bunch of other people know that this was not a rebranding, rather, an addition to original Wheaties. This probably should be made a little more obvious in the marketing instead of one line in a New York Times’
Aka, the taste of win. Speaking of: Fuel. Win. Evolve. YEAH! Gladiator action taglines unite! I saw this over on BrandflakesForBreakfast, and Darryl’s perfect Man Cereal title notwithstanding, can’t help but wonder if this is a Gatorade “G” in the making. While the site lists the reason they want to “evolve” the brand, there’s something to be said for consistency, of being able to count on a brand over time.
But something else seems to be at work.
It’s as if the marketing directors at major brands are toying with rebranding makeovers more frequently, and specifically, microtargeting or segmenting certain demos out of their broader audience.
Here, it’s obvious they’re going after athletes who identify with a high-performance message. There’s a series of videos put out by Saatchi & Saatchi that feature top athletes discussing the formula with Dr. John Ivy from Wheaties.
But this is what G thou..., sorry, Gatorade thought too. Slumping sales? Change out the box. And before that, Tropicana when it evolved its look to be something more contemporary. At least what they perceived it should be.
Both moves subsequently turning out to be fails.
That’s not saying this won’t work. If it fails, it won’t be because they didn’t spend the money. They’re blowing this out across every possible media channel with the top athletes in their respective sports. Oh, and even a Facebook page.
It’s worth noting though that many brands have certain demos using their products that they might prefer to downplay an association with, let alone deciding to change their core product’s formula as Wheaties has done here.
(Range Rover and Timberland have an urban demo that is definitely missing from their general mass media advertising.)
In this case, the brands will take the bump in sales they get, even if it’s from demos clearly at odds with respectively, the elitist world traveler driving
I know moms used to do the shopping, but walking away from 40% of your market in favor of focusing on the other 60% who they claim are male athletes is what they’re gambling on.
There was this All-American simplicity to having a single athlete on the cover, someone who had earned the right to be there, much like a winning Super Bowl quarterback heading off to Disneyland or little chocolate donut-loving track & field champion.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the new, sleek look—for a video game title. I suppose kids will too. But a brand making revolutionary changes under the guise of evolving the brand needs to consider walking away from the heritage of their formula, name and look all at once.