The new marketing move by Kelloggs to insult half its customers doesn’t seem to be working out too well. Last year Kelloggs jumped into politics by loudly cancelling advertising on Breitbart saying the new media outlet didn’t fit their values. It was an attempt to punish the big winner in the new media for reporting politically incorrect news. Breitbart responded with the DumpKelloggs petition, and 436,000 people pledged never to buy Kelloggs again.
The company has now reported a $53 million dollar loss in the fourth quarter. It’s shutting down 39 distribution centres, potentially sacking 1,100 workers. Kelloggs share prices are back to where they were a year ago, but Kraft-Heinz is up 31%, and Post is up by 37%. Hey, but it could be a coincidence.
To get some idea of the depth of the goodwill crater left by the Kelloggs political bomb, check out Chiefio’s Bye Bye Kelloggs flaming rant last December. He won’t give a trigger warning, but tells people who need one to “get out now”. I’ve picked a tamer paragraph:
We, the Average Joe and Average Jane have put up with this Protest Shit to the absolute limit, and we were pushed past that. It’s now broken. That means full on war. Yes, you have a pissed Germanic-Celt in your grill. I’ll “forgive and forget” in about 20 years.
When I Die.
In one simple stupid move, you have alienated about 1/2 of the country….
In Marketing 101, Kelloggs will be the star example of How to Trash A Century of Good Branding.
There are lots of reasons a company can lose money. But social media polling nosedived 75% in the weeks after Kelloggs started selling political cereal:
Citing data from Taykey, a social media analytics firm, Adweek notes that “while negative sentiment for New Balance and Pepsi has died down over the past month, Kellogg’s is facing a more sustained backlash after pulling its advertising” from Breitbart News.
“On the heels of the ad ban, Breitbart launched a campaign, #DumpKelloggs, encouraging Trump supporters to boycott Kellogg’s products,” Adweek notes. “The boycott caused Kellogg’s social media sentiment to fall dramatically, with a 75 percent nosedive, according to Taykey.”
“Through Dec. 5, that sentiment had stayed mostly negative,” the outlet reports.
Adweek’s assessment of Breitbart’s mega-viral #DumpKelloggs petition initiative is similar to the one published by the Wall Street Journal.
“There’s a cereal killer on the loose,” the Journal reported last week, acknowledging that since Breitbart’s boycott campaign against the cereal giant, “Kellogg shares have underperformed peers General Mills and Post Holdings by 4.4 and 11.5 points, respectively.”
h/t to Interesting Items.