CAMPAIGNS: Food PR - Rice Krispies sculpt contest a real treat

Client: Kellogg USA (Battle Creek, MI)

PR Team: Porter Novelli (New York)

Campaign: Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats Recipe Sculpturing Contest

Time Frame: July - December 2000

Budget: dollars 290,000

What looks like a six-foot high rain forest, complete with plants,

flowers, snakes and gorillas, and tastes like Kellogg's Rice Krispies

Treats? The sculpture that won first place in the 2000 Rice Krispies

Treats sculpturing contest for schools.

Porter Novelli (PN) was challenged to increase school participation and

media coverage of the contest's third year and reignite awareness of the

brand. The nationwide event, open to grades K-6, invited students,

parents and teachers to create a sculpture using the Rice Krispies

Treats recipe.


Using the treat to create artwork naturally appealed to children. The

event also incorporated math (calculating the amount of cereal needed),

science (the physical layout of the structure), and social studies

(building a sculpture that represents something the kids were studying),

thus appealing to educators. A grand prize of dollars 10,000 helped to

generate community support.

Kellogg's targeted schools in areas where their product sells well to

help ensure event success.


Porter Novelli executed a three-phase grassroots PR program that

included the announcement of the contest, the building of the sculptures

and the awarding of prizes.

To help encourage contest participation, the PR firm directly informed

teachers and principals about it. PN also made certain that teachers

understood that the contest contained educational elements and stressed


PN distributed flyers to encourage enrollment in the contest to 11,000

elementary school principals, primarily on the West and East coasts and

in the Midwest, areas where Rice Krispies tend to sell well.

Prior to the event, PN sent out a camera-ready story about the 2000

contest to smaller circulation newspapers. A press release and photo of

the 1999 winner was sent to educational trades and to lifestyle, food

and feature writers of local newspapers.

The firm circulated a radio alert, and Vicki Cessna, Kellogg USA's

senior manager of marketing communications, was available to comment on

the air about the contest. Contest information was also listed on

Kellogg's Web site.

PN produced B-roll containing footage from the 1999 contest and

distributed it nationally on the day this year's contest winner was

announced, in addition to a press release.

A breakfast party at the winning school was staged and local media were



The B-roll aired more than 150 times in local TV outlets, including

Buffalo, N.Y., and Lubbock, TX. The Portland Oregonian and the Richmond

Times-Dispatch were some of the papers that ran stories. Radio spots ran

in towns such as Milwaukee, WI, and Colorado Springs, CO. Combined,

consumer impressions came to about 33 million.

Although difficult to measure, Jeffrey Moran, VP of Porter Novelli, says

Kellogg's saw a bump in sales, perhaps because of the number of cereal

boxes it took to create the sculptures. This year's winner contained 57

boxes of Rice Krispies.

Entries nearly doubled from 1999, rising from 65 to 117.


Porter Novelli will promote the 2001 contest later this year.

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