Revitalising a valued character
A Kellogg's case study

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Page 5: Modernising Tony the Tiger

Market research showed that although Tony the Tiger's new role should rely heavily upon the image and activities associated with Tony's past, his role should be updated and linked with current and futuristic activities.

When planning an advertising campaign, a business like Kellogg's works closely with an advertising agency. The agency uses its expertise to create, develop, plan and implement an advertising campaign for its client. Drawing on the background research and the advertising brief, the agency developed and modernised Tony's role, basing it on the term 'Action Hero'.

It was important at this stage to consider what 'Action Hero' meant, and how this role related to food. It was also important to decide on whether Tony should be linked to other characters, such as an enemy. Having made these decisions, a story then needed to be created around Tony.

The advertising agency came back with TV scripts, and showed how these scripts could be used within the whole promotional mix, particularly in special promotions, merchandising and public relations. The animated script needed to be tested with consumers so that it would be possible to predict accurately whether an investment made in modernising Tony would increase the sales volume and value of Frosties to an extent sufficient to justify the financial outlay.

The research followed a standard format:

  • Identify the problem
  • Conduct consumer market research
  • Find out more about the problem
  • Identify possible solutions
  • Solve problem creatively
  • Test solutions
  • Fine-tune
  • Test again
  • Launch promotional campaign.

A key decision in redeveloping the animation for Tony was whether to go for a flat TV cartoon animation, as used with Tom and Jerry, or for 3D animation as used in Toy Story and Toy Story 2.

After much discussion, it was decided to create a 3D Tony and to use him not only in standard advertising media but also in new media such as the internet. Although Tony was now in 3D, his appearance would be based upon his past character.

After many approval phases, a pair of 60-second and 30-second advertising commercials was developed, and on 9 October 2000 the new Tony was launched. The whole process, from the identification of the problem in March 1999 until the launch in October 2000, had taken just 18 months.

Kellogg's | Revitalising a valued character