Back-to-school is a cluttered time with a multitude of brands fighting for mindshare. It is also an emotional period for both parents and kids, filled with excitement, fear, happiness and nervousness. Parents want to ease their kid's transition back to the classroom with the right products to set them up for success.
In order to get noticed and create a behavior change, Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats® couldn't just rationalize their way into shopping carts. We needed to create an emotional connection with parents to consider us this back-to-school season and move from being an impulse purchase to a planned purchase. Our objective was to increase awareness and household penetration of Rice Krispies Treats in Millennial households with kids.
Research shows nothing prepares kids more for going back to school than love and support. That's why Rice Krispies Treats developed write-on wrappers so parents could send encouraging messages with a sweet treat in their kid's lunchbox. But we wondered, what if your child can't see?
Our idea was to make the iconic Rice Krispies Treats write-on wrapper accessible for blind and low-vision children so that more kids could feel the love this back-to-school season. We created the first-ever accessible "Love Notes" in the form of Braille stickers and re-recordable audio boxes so parents and family members could share messages of love and encouragement with children who are blind or visually-impaired, all available for free at ricekrispies.com/lovenotes.
The 'Love Notes' Braille stickers were designed in the shape of a heart to match the white space on Rice Krispies Treats write-on wrappers. Each Braille sticker sheet included eight uplifting phrases for parents to share with their children, from "You've Got This" to "Love You Lots."
For children who are auditory learners or don't read Braille, we developed a re-recordable audio box that perfect holds a Rice Krispies Treats square inside and when opened, plays a 10-second pre-recorded auditory message. The audio box messages could be re-recorded over 1,000 times, offering opportunities to share love and support throughout the entire school year. We also included tactile features on the audio box to help children who are blind or with low-vision identify where to open the box.
Our deployment strategy was simple, yet powerful. Our intent was to serve and support a niche community of families with blind and low-vision children through an integrated program, enabling our message of love and inclusivity to authentically resonate with many. Key executional tactics included:
Partnership and Social Video with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). The organization helped us create the Love Notes and served as a consultant throughout the entire development process.The NFB also led us to a remarkable 11-year-old girl – Eme Butler-Mitchell – who helped us bring Love Notes to life through a beautiful storytelling video that showcased the impact of a simple note of love.
Robust Earned Media Strategy targeting an array of outlet verticals including consumer, lifestyle, tech, food and disability. The announcement of the program was delivered to media via an embargoed pitch and mailer package including the new Braille stickers and audio boxes along with Rice Krispies Treats, enabling reporters to feel the love for themselves.
Paid Media Support on social of the long-form version of Eme's video story well as our 15-second teaser video that were released on YouTube and shared across Rice Krispies Treats Facebook page. Both cuts of the video spread the news of Love Notes and inclusivity far and wide and was made accessible so both sighted and non-sighted audiences alike could enjoy Eme's story.
Owned Landing Page built on the Rice Krispies website (www.ricekrispies.com/lovenotes) served as a hub for the initiative. On the landing page, users could view Eme's story and place orders for their free Braille stickers or audio boxes. The Love Notes page was entirely accessible and tested by blind users and the NFB.
As a result, the brand achieved impactful growth and recognition:
Media deemed "Rice Krispies Treats Just Took A Real Step Towards Inclusivity" as headlined by Huffington Post. The activation secured over 267 million earned impressions and 471 placements, surpassing the earned media goal by over 50 percent. Coverage from targeted verticals included USA Today, CBS Morning News, GMA SmartBrief, AdAge, The Advocate, The Daily Meal, Food & Wine and more. Many articles were syndicated across outlets' social channels and shared by consumers online.
Consumer reaction was overwhelmingly positive with over 3 million views of Eme's story. Many parents shared their excitement by posting photos and videos of their blind children on social. Some even called Kellogg's Consumer Affairs to personally thank the brand for such a meaningful act of inclusiveness. Organizations and teachers across the country also called Kellogg, ordering Love Notes in bulk to give to their students.
At the end of it all, Rice Krispies Treats took a stand for inclusivity and shared the love this back-to-school season, while effectively growing the business and inspiring parents to put a new favorite treat into their child's lunchboxes
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