July 23, 2017

Campaign Spotlight: Grape-Nuts Wants You to Climb Every Mountain

A venerable cereal brand is using an anniversary as a way to reintroduce itself as well as to introduce a line extension meant to appeal to more contemporary tastes.

The cereal is Post Grape-Nuts, which has been around since 1897. The brand and its siblings like Alpha-Bits, Great Grains, Honey Bunches of Oats, Pebbles and Shredded Wheat are sold by a company named Post Foods, spun off last year from Ralcorp.

By now, most consumers probably know that a package of Grape-Nuts contains neither grapes nor nuts, but rather crunchy nuggets made of wheat and barley. (There is also a variety with flakes in place of nuggets, Grape-Nuts Flakes.)

Grape-Nuts has long been marketed as a healthful and natural cereal, predating the current popularity of pitches that play up those qualities. It was even a favorite among explorers, who took it along as part of their supplies for expeditions.

Among the adventurers who were fueled by Grape-Nuts was Edmund Hillary, who in 1953, along with Tenzing Norgay, was the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest. The 60th anniversary of the Hillary ascent is the centerpiece of a campaign for Grape-Nuts and the new variety, Grape-Nuts Fit, which carries the theme “What’s your mountain?”

The campaign, with a budget estimated at more than $10 million, is created by an agency in Toronto named Birthplace, which is part of the Grey Group division of WPP. Hunter Public Relations in New York is also working on the campaign.

The campaign includes a commercial, promotions, events, sampling, a mobile app, content on the Post Foods Web site and Patch.com and a presence in social media like Facebook.

Among the events is one scheduled for Wednesday — 60 years to the day that Mr. Hillary achieved his feat — in Herald Square in Midtown Manhattan, which is to feature a 30-foot rock wall for passers-by to climb. The climbers can plant at the top of the wall pennants in purple — a Grape-Nuts color — that ask “What’s your mountain?”

Also on Wednesday, free samples of Grape-Nuts Fit will be distributed to climbers and hikers at various peaks and trails around the country.

The “What’s your mountain?” theme is intended to serve as a kind of mantra, wake-up call or clarion cry, encouraging consumers to tackle challenges and achieve goals the way Mr. Hillary did 60 years ago. The Grape-Nuts Facebook fan page asks, “What mountain are you conquering today?”

In the commercial, an announcer describes how Grape-Nuts — “packed with protein and nutritious grains” — helped Mr. Hillary get to the peak of Mount Everest.

“Now, the highest point on earth is a long way from the breakfast table,” the announcer continues, “but if Grape-Nuts cereal helped Hillary reach the top of his mountain, just imagine where it could take you.”

Grape-Nuts is not alone in seeking to engage consumers with pointed questions about fulfilling their potential. For instance, Hennessy Cognac introduced a campaign early last year that personified the quest to achieve by asking, “What’s your wild rabbit?” and concluding, “Never stop. Never settle.”

“The Grape-Nuts consumer is free-spirited and independent-minded,” says Mangala D’Sa, who as the brand director for what Post Foods calls its healthy brands oversees Grape-Nuts along with Great Grains, Post Raisin Bran and Shredded Wheat.

Grape-Nuts consumers are also “demanding a lot from their food in terms of nutrition,” says Ms. D’Sa, who is based in Parsippany, N.J., and have a lot in common with the buyers of Shredded Wheat, who “are looking for simple ingredients” in what they eat.

The current Grape-Nuts buyer tends to be “more of a boomer, 50-plus crowd,” Ms. D’Sa says, referring to the baby-boom generation, so to help the brand attract new customers the campaign is intended to appeal to a somewhat younger audience.

Also intended to reach a younger audience is Grape-Nut Fit, which contains nuggets that are “lightly crunchy,” as the package proclaims, meaning less crunchy than the original Grape-Nuts nuggets, which detractors have likened to gravel or pebbles — not Pebbles, as in its sibling Post cereal, but as in small rocks.

Grape-Nuts lovers are “very passionate about the crunch,” Ms. D’Sa says, “but a lot of people find it intimidating in that it is very crunchy.” So Grape-Nuts Fit offers what she calls “a fluffier nugget,” along with added ingredients like granola, cranberries and a vanilla flavor, none of which are found in Grape-Nuts.

The “What’s your mountain?” theme is found on the backs of packages of Grape-Nuts Fit as well as Grape-Nuts. Both declare, “From Everest to the everyday, Grape-Nuts has the power-packed nutrition you need to reach the top!”

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/28/business/media/grape-nuts-wants-you-to-climb-every-mountain.html?partner=rss&emc=rss