Kelloggs/Pop Tarts and Mark Baynes

October 15, 2010

By Guest Blogger Hannah Cho, Cisco Systems, Inc.

The ANA Masters of Marketing conference has had a very full first day-lots of presenters with interesting ideas and stories. Mark Baynes from Kelloggs was the third speaker of the day and I have the pleasure of writing about his presentation.

First, my observations about Mark (yes, we are on a first name basis - he just doesn't know it yet):

  1. He wore a lovely suit and lively tie that matched the ANA color scheme!
  2. He has a really casual presentation manner that made him a personable and compelling speaker-and a cool accent.
  3. He has a passion for Pop Tarts that made what could have been a not-so-interesting presentation pretty interesting and definitely fun.

Now, about his presentation. It was full of interesting tidbits about America's favorite toaster pastry-no longer reserved for just "Milton the Toaster" anymore (apparently they are really good when refrigerated too-who knew).

Did you know that Pop Tarts have been around since 1964? That the name is from the Warhol "pop art" era? That Pop Tarts had 20 years of consecutive growth in their first 20 years? That their target audience for marketing pre-2004 was 10-14 year olds? And most importantly, that there is a POP TARTS WORLD STORE in Times Square?

Mark covered a lot of ground in a short time with a history of the Pop Tart brand building and preference building efforts and how today, with a delicately balanced mix of paid, owned and earned media, Pop Tart continues to appeal to a teen audience. Pop Tart engages them through programs like the "Flavor Tournament" that coincides with NCAA March Madness - "Or is it the other way around...?" asks Mark. And the "Taste of Music" campaign spawned incredible results on Facebook and You Tube for Kelloggs and made mini-celebrities out of young people who sang about Pop Tarts, one of the most memorable songs including the line, "Pop Tarts will never break your heart." In 16 months, Pop Tarts gained 2.4 million fans on Facebook. That's pretty cool. 

From a business perspective, the fact that paid, owned and earned media is over indexing against internal ROI benchmarks is pretty impressive. Pop Tarts seem to have managed to find the appropriate way for teens to want to engage with, tell their friends about and BUY Pop Tarts! Ultimately, that's what it comes down to, right?  Getting your audience to buy your stuff? And Kelloggs does it well with Pop Tarts. I mean, even in the user generated music videos, these kids (and they are all teens) have outfitted themselves in Pop Tarts merchandise and staged backgrounds to include the product packaging and product itself! 

Ok, so if you're looking for the value of the presentation and what the ultimate takeaway is, there are few things that stuck with me:

  1. Just because you can build a brand page, doesn't mean you should.  Let's not get into the mistakes of the dot-com era when everything and everybody had to have a webpage.  Social media takes a passion that exists and amplifies that passion with a community - know how and when to use social media to meet your goals and complement your paid and owned media strategies.
  2. Three key learnings for stronger engagement and deeper relationships between your brand and the customer that are pretty common sense:  a) Clarity of purpose; b) Ideas, ideas, ideas (around points of engagement, connective tissue across all media and upping your product's social currency); c) Experience planning (know what media to use and what purpose it serves, creative linkage across media and points to deepen longer term engagement options).
  3. I've been missing out on the world of Pop Tarts (never had them before). 

So, get on Facebook and become a fan—I did!


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