Rice Krispies is keeping it simple

Who: Kellogg Canada Inc., with Leo Burnett for creative and strategy, Tonic DNA for animation, and Starcom Mediavest Group for media.

What: “It’s a grain of (playful),” a new masterbrand campaign for Kellogg’s Rice Krispies and Rice Krispies Squares Bars.

When & Where: The campaign launched in late August, targeting parents with a focus on online video (YouTube, Facebook and Instagram). There are plans to expand the campaign for the holiday season.

Why: The campaign’s starting point was the essence of the product itself: Each Rice Krispie is made from a simple grain of rice. “The simplicity of Rice Krispies has always been something parents have valued from the food,” said Mandy Eaton, vice-president and group account director at Leo Burnett.

Kellogg and Leo Burnett wanted to emphasize that core brand attribute of simplicity as a virtue by showing how simplicity can be the starting point for endless possibility. “Our foods start from a simple grain of rice, so we wanted that to continue to be a key aspect of the food that we continued to highlight for parents,” said Eaton.

How: Three animated spots (two out now, with a third coming for the holidays) show how Rice Krispies can turn otherwise ordinary family moments into happy, playful occasions. In one case it’s a grandfather delighting his granddaughter by impersonating a chipmunk, stuffing his cheeks with a Rice Krispie Square Bar.  In the second, a boy hears the “snap, crackle and pop” of his bowl of Rice Krispies and starts to beatbox, with his baby brother playing along. In each ad, the phrase “A grain of playful,” appears on screen, with the word “playful” replaced by a message connected to the specific ad: “Ooey gooey fun,” for example.

The idea of simplicity being a starting point for play felt particularly relevant “in a time where we have all come to value the little things and little moments more and more,” said Eaton.

“Rice Krispies is a grain of something great. What that grain is, is entirely up to your family,” said Leo Burnett co-chief creative officer Steve Persico. “The platform lends itself to endless executions because the possibilities of the grains themselves are endless.”

The animation: Leo Burnett worked with Montreal animation studio Tonic DNA. “The brief was to create a simple style and animation to convey a story of family connection and warmth for the Rice Krispies brand,” said Joe Bluhm, the studio’s creative director for this campaign.

“We focused on keeping a shape language across all environments and characters, yet bringing enough change between them to understand the different family stories. Finding the right balance between cartoon and realistic was a fun challenge, and one that’s allowed each department, from design to animation, to grow from this experience.”

And we quote: “For generations, Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal has created magic with its simple recipe… We wanted to remind Canadians that a simple grain of rice can be the inspirational starting point for endless ideas and small moments of family fun.” —Christine Jakovcic, vice-president of marketing and nutrition, Kellogg Canada Inc.

David Brown