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What Can Kellogg’s QR Code Campaign Teach Us About Marketing?

Earlier this year Kelloggs launched a marketing campaign. Their plan? To reach an audience of single men between the ages of 18 and 35, who were mainly college students. How? By placing a QR code and SMS predominantly on the back of their new Crunchy Nut Cereal Packets.

By scanning the code the reader is taken to a video reinforcing the marketing message, outlined on the cereal box, that you can eat cereal anytime because “it’s morning somewhere.” At the time of writing this post the video showed  morning in Papeete, Tahiti. There’s a cockerel sound followed by a short video of a beautiful beach at sunrise in Tahiti.

Visiting the site at different times of the day you would see morning in other parts of the world.  Underneath the QR code Kelloggs provided instructions on how to download a reader to scan the code. If you don’t have a reader just follow this link to download one then point the reader at the image below.

But its a gimmick you say. What’s the point?

Let’s look at the results of the campaign.

40,000 QR scans and 6,000 texts to the mobile site, resulting in 38,000 videos played and 50,000 page views. “The primary strategy of this campaign was to create more engagement with the brand via mobile,” said David Apple who was involved in the promotion. I would say that was achieved, wouldn’t you?

What can we learn from Kellogg’s QR Code Campaign?

1. The importance of knowing your target market

A  target market,  defined by Wikipedia is “a group of customers that the business has decided to aim its marketing efforts and ultimately its merchandise” . Who are you targeting your marketing message to? Clarity of your target market is a major key to running an efficient and cost effective marketing campaign. Kelloggs knew who their target market was. They wanted to promote their new cereal to single men between the ages of 18 and 35 who were mostly college students.

2. Know how to communicate with your target market

Once you know who your target market is how are you going to reach them? How are you going to get your message out to them? At this stage it’s important to get to know your target market: their lifestyle, likes, dislikes, and where they can be found. What type of communication will reach your target market? Kelloggs decided on a QR code and SMS with a message boldly written on the back of their new cereal boxes. The use of the QR code would intrigue their target market, who were computer literate and enjoyed electronic games. The QR code would encourage interaction.

3. Understand what result you want from your marketing campaign.

Kelloggs wanted their target market to have more engagement with their brand and communicated their marketing message through an interactive, fun activity. With more engagement more sales would come in a segment of the market that Kelloggs wanted to expand. What result do you want from your marketing campaign?

4. Have a clear message

Keep your marketing message focused and to the point.  You won’t convert prospects into customers if your marketing message is unclear. Provide too many details and your target market might not understand what you are trying to tell them.  On the back of the Kellogg’s cereal packet the message is crystal clear “With the perfect blend of sweet and nutty in every crunchy bite crunchy nut is so delicious you won’t want to wait until morning to eat it. Luckily you don’t have to it’s morning somewhere.” Cereal is seen as a breakfast food but with the message that its morning somewhere at every moment of the day Kellogg’s delivers the message that you can eat the cereal at any time of day.

Kelloggs ran a clear, targeted, fun, and interactive marketing campaign that delivered results.  What do you think?


Anne is passionate about helping businesses succeed in marketing their business in today's world. As traditional ways to promote businesses are becoming less effective Anne and her team at Bison Mobile Web Consulting focus on providing clients with modern marketing methods that are proven to work Currently Anne lives in beautiful South Somerset with her husband, 3 children and 2 dogs. Let her show you how you can get more clients for your business and increase your income so you can spend more time enjoying life and less time working and stressing in your business.

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  • Hi Anne, thanks for this case study, it’s a really interesting example of how Kelloggs are using QR codes to target a market segment. There appears to be a huge interest from marketers in using QR codes so I expect we’ll see lots more examples as the months and years go by, thanks for sharing, Niall.u00a0

  • A great idea, so simple in one way. Great idea to show a picture of a fabulous place. It will be interesting to see how other companies use the QR codes

  • Hi Lornau00a0u00a0 It’s going to be interesting watching how creative people will get with QR codes

  • Hi Anne, great research, and great result for Kelloggs it seems.nnI really smile to myself when I see people put QR Codes on their websites, to scan to – well, their website!nnI was doing a 30 second video pitch recently at the Bloggers International meeting, and I had a printout of a QR Code to a recent blogpost about preparing your workload for holidays. nnIt definitely added an interactive feature to a standard 30 second video “about me”. It brought the viewer into the space and created an interaction, rather than a one way communication. And the reward? A blogpost with great tips on what to do to prepare your office/phone/email etc for when you go on a break.nnQR codes need to be printed on business cards!! As I only printed my cards recently (before I learned of QR codes) I will get a stamp made and add it to the back of the cards.nnThey really do help to create interactions and connections, so should be exploited more!

  • Lee

    So it’s nice that Kelloggs got 50,000 page views, but what did their sales do? I’ve been doing a QR campaign for a local company that has 4 restaurants, with one being in a college town. We get plenty of scans, with the college town being the most active, but just a hand full of redemption’s for free food and free tickets to local events.

  • Ciaran Rogers

    Great Post Anne, Great to have someone share some tangible datau00a0 on QR codes which is in short nsupply… We did a report on QR codes growth and consumer adoption in nthe US and UK for the Digital Marketing Podcast which threw up some ninteresting results.nnnYou can find the report at:

  • Anonymous


    You’ve captured the essence so well! We can see that a specific change is the best choice but that doesn’t make it easy. It’s how we manage ourselves when we flinch. Do we stay in the hunched up position or do we relax (gradually or otherwise) ourselves to see the process through?

  • QR is a quick and easy way to share information. The best thing about it is that the code provoke people to read it.

  • I think your first point on defining goals is critical and it shouldn’t be simply to get more fans, without knowing, whether or not those fans will equate to ROI.

  • Hi Aoife,

    I think another point worth stating is trying an application like Rafflecopter uses Facebook to get people to your site to enter a comp using a simple application. It’s also very ‘social’ and clever in that it gets new visitors to your site while building the reach of your social network. Great post and thanks for sharing with us.


  • beatricewhelan

    Great post Aoife. I see so many pages running like and share competitions, so many of them get away with it. It would be great if Facebook came down on this a bit more. As you point out, with the free apps it is quite easy to run a competition according to the rules.

  • Thank you Donncha & congratulations again….allthough it’s not your first time & my guess is it won’t be your last. Happy New Year, Niall

  • Gilbert Samuel

    I’m glad I made the list Niall, It’s my first though but I’ll try to be one of the most active of all. I hope the readers will find this post helpful too.

    Happy new year

  • Hi Gilbert & thanks for the comment. Looking forward to reading more great posts by you. Many Happy Returns, Niall

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