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Kellogg's Sustain: Unofficial Competition

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Sustain: the unofficial champion of breakfasts

Recognising that there was a gap in the market for a low GI cereal that offered active males in their 30s a lasting source of energy, Kellogg reformulated Sustain and is relaunching it with a massive advertising campaign through JWT Sydney.

The campaign highlights the competitive nature of men in their 30s, branding them ‘unofficial champions’.

JWT came up with a salient consumer insight during the development of this campaign: although men are innately competitive, at a certain stage of life displaying that competitiveness too brazenly becomes socially unacceptable. The campaign highlights how that competitive streak manifests itself in bizarre ways, often far away from the sporting arena, branding the man who eats Sustain as the ‘unofficial champion’.

Set in the context of an unofficial competition, race commentators follow a man on his way to work. He subtly looks at the man standing on the curb next him and the two start ‘racing’ when the lights change. Things soon descend to all-out competition as the two complete “the old run when he’s not looking” manoeuvre.

The man who ate Sustain for breakfast has the energy to run all the way to the train station and jump on board just as the carriage doors are closing, leaving his competitor puffing on the platform.

The commentators (who are actually on the train) can’t believe their eyes when the doors open at the next stop and he’s squaring off against another passenger to race yet again.

The unorthodox campaign is accompanied by short and long copy outdoor advertising, encouraging people to eat Sustain and take part in the ‘unofficial competition’. Following on from the absurdity of the TV ads, the posters say things such as ‘Better to be an unofficial somebody than an official nobody’ and ‘Go for Gold. Failing that, go for the Bronze. It’s Goldier than Silver.’

Facts about Sustain:

Sustain was launched in 1985 positioned as an energy cereal for performance, with marathon runner Robert deCastella as the spokesperson. What made Sustain unique was that it was scientifically developed and sponsored by the Australian Institute of Sport for athletes that trained at the Institute. For close to 10 years this formula represented the golden years of Sustain.

The imagery and brand values this period established for Sustain resonate today: the energy cereal for performance, a sustained energy benefit and a ‘can-do attitude’ that inspired even the most average of athletes.

The new campaign re-connects Sustain with its latent sporting past.

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