Turning one’s perceived weakness into a strength is a route adopted by several brands, in their advertising. Heritage brands which run the risk of being seen as ‘fuddy duddy’ could turn their experience and trust into an advantage. Post Shredded Wheat, an offering from Post Foods, LLC which began in 1895, has done just that with great elan. In a series of spots, written and crafted brilliantly by Ogilvy USA, it’s unchanged format for over 100 years is presented as an antidote to progress.
The company’s fictitious President, Frank Duffel, bashes progress (superbly summed up as ‘Progress is overrated’) and takes credit for putting the ‘no’ in innovation. The campaign has 5 spots, in episodic format and is set off with an ‘interview’.
The campaign has a website, The Palace of Light (the original Shredded Wheat factory), a YouTube channel and a Facebook page. The tongue-in-cheek bashing of Progress continues in the YouTube channel too:
When I started in management, solitaire was the big employee time-waster. Today we have YouTube.
Now that’s what I call Progress.
I’m no fan of Progress, mind you, but having the ability to push this YouTube content straight to people’s desks means I don’t have to remind my employees to play solitaire every hour. Not only does that free up my schedule, but it’s a more interesting way for them to waste their time, which means there’s less chance of actual Progress occurring.
The ads made me laugh out loud and are worthy of a sitcom. Good to see great copy writing skills on television advertising. I like.
The campaign won a Titanium & Integrated Bronze Lion – Cannes Lions 2010.