my food site is weber_cam

January 21, 2008

In which I ponder another's professional life


Marketplace Money on NPR runs a "Day in the Life" segment that I find fascinating. Ever since I had the desire to stick knives in my phd advisor's eyes, I've created a hobby of thinking about the professional life of others.

In today's segment, we look into the life of an advertising/marketing executive. His task, the back panel of the Kix cereal box.

06:00 am Wakes up, showers, walks the dog, prepares breakfast for the kids, wife and they all sit about the breakfast table. He and his kids are munching on Rice Krispies. A captive audience, they ponder the cereal box and talk about their upcoming day. He thinks the back panel of the Rice Krispies is boring; he suspects his upcoming day working for the man will be equally lame, but forges on. He gives the family hugs and kisses and they all go off.

07:00 am He gets to work, drinks lots of coffee and surfs the web.
10:00 am Meeting. His Boss shows them a box of Kix and describes the specifications of the assignment. "These puffy balls of ... rice or something need to excite the kids and adults eating them and they need to buy them again when faced with that daunting aisle at the supermarket. Make it happen." The man leaves his minions to do the job. The man surfs the web while he waits for the creative process to finish.

Our exec sighs a bit, stares at his wallet sized medical insurance card family picture and goes off to design a cereal box panel. He figures it's too expensive to equip each box with a flat panel. All hope of engaging the kid is abandoned. The target of this campaign is the parent. Being in his 30's, our exec is beginning to realize a diet of McDonald's may be deadly, so, nutrition must be a significant factor in the choice of a breakfast cereal. Hmmm.

First the text. Googling "whole grain" pulls up several million results featuring that term. He's heard it a lot too and figures the phrase "whole grain" should be used on the back panel - 35 or so times.

Now the images. Time for brainstorming. "Say whatever comes to mind gang!" The coffee's kicking in. He believes others in the meeting are paying attention. Vitality, manly, happy families, children with energy, puppies, fidelity, fields of grain, virility, kids that are happy, ADD happy, pooping regularly, kids pooping regularly, diversity, ... He's got it. A simple approach. An image depicting maternal love. Timeless. And, we'll wrap some text around it. With goofy multi-colored happy fonts. All kids like purple. Use it. With the phrase "whole grain" included. Lots. There. Launch the campaign.

10:30 am His underlings go off and do the art and copy. He'll proof the copy next week. He surfs the web until 5.


Anonymous said...

"... happy, pooping regularly, kids pooping regularly..."

I just wet myself laughing.

Miss Lexiloo said...

I've never really looked at cereal boxes (well, not lately)....but that is the absolute worst ad copy I've read in some time.

How many times could they use the words 'whole grain', and 'goodness', exactly? Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

um. they have to use the "whole grain" angle because that cereal tastes like poop. who would pick kix over, say, frosted flakes? sheesh.

Not Important said...

What's even funnier is when you buy the cheap knock-off cereal. They sometimes try to entice the consumer with phrases like, "COMPARE TO KIX!"

Lately, my response is something like, "No. If your cereal can't stand on its own merits, forget it. I'm not your whipping boy. Do your own comparison and put it on the box. Jerks."