The Easiest Job Promotion In The World

Meet Hunter Somerville. While an intern at Ogilvy & Mather in Toronto last summer, he was asked to chip into a campaign by taking a shot at redesigning the back of the Shreddies box. He now works there as a creative.

The key to winning a promotion in the advertising world?

Demonstrating a canny understanding of the product and its features. Groundbreaking insight into the market you are targeting. (And more than a dash of Machiavellian office intrigue, but let's leave that to the senior creatives.)

Somerville's fantastic insight? Tilt the square Shreddies by 45 degrees - thereby creating Diamond Shreddies!

"..."It came from an exercise of redesigning the back of the cereal box," says chief creative officer Nancy Vonk. "We gave the task to a lowly summer intern Hunter Somerville. His joke idea--make the back look like the front of a new bogus product--was quickly seen as a bigger idea that could become a 360 campaign." (Creativity-Online)

The idea was so simple, yet so fundamental, that it stopped me cold in my feet. Or cold on my sofa, waiting for American Idol to come back on.

Nothing had changed in the 67 year-old product. Nothing had to change on the production line. Yet the product was positioned as having fundamentally changed.

Even the focus groups were fooled. That's right. As part of the marketing campaign, Ogilvy & Mather conducted focus groups to test the perceived difference between traditional "square" Shreddies and newfangled "diamond" shreddies. See for yourself. Focus group participants work themselves into identifying the improved qualities of the new product.

As the CMA blog wrote, "Poor consumer. They didn't stand a chance."

Even the food obsessives at the Kraft Canada forums are praising the campaign.

In perhaps the funniest twist of the re-branding, Vancouver lawyer George Gould put the "last square Shreddie" up for sale on ebay.

[tags] Shreddies, cereal, O&M [/tags]