A Kellogg’s PR stunt for ‘green onion cereal’ comes to life

What began as a joke for the brand in South Korea eventually materialised after years campaigning by fans.

A Kellogg’s PR stunt for ‘green onion cereal’ comes to life

This is a slightly unusual brand story. One that took many turns and twists initially unintended by the brand.

It began with Kellogg's South Korea launching a fun campaign in 2004 asking consumers to vote between two new potential flavours for its grain cereal brand Chex: chocolate-flavoured Cheki and green onion-flavoured Chaka. The brand had anticipated a majority of votes for the former, but they were wrong. Votes for the green onion cereal surged past its chocolate counterpart, causing 'fans' to campaign for the real thing to hit shelves under a hashtag called #PrayForChex.

The brand thought the pleas might die down, but they didn't. Sixteen years later, fans still request for the flavour and Kellogg's this year made the decision to release a limited-edition green onion cereal. Within two days of hitting online stores, the cereal was sold out.

Along with the product, a short, fun brand video (above) was released featuring a parody of fans' anguish and the subsequent development of the cereal.

"We never expected consumers would be interested in this product for over 16 years," Kim Hee-yeon, a spokeswoman for Kellogg's Korea, told Reuters. "Every time we launched new cereals or had promotional events, online communities would repeatedly ask for the flavour."

According to the Reuters report, the company had been working on developing the cereal for 15 years, but had struggled to find the right onion flavour. When it called for 50 'early tasters', it received an overwhelming 14,200 applications.

Altogether, a dream earned media campaign for a brand that wasn't expecting it.

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