Vector will trade cereal for a cancelled streaming subscription

Who: Kellogg Canada’s Vector Brand, with Leo Burnett Canada for strategy and creative (Martel & Cie for French adaptation); The Pub for production; Mondial for post-production; Eggplant for audio; Starcom for media; MSL Canada for PR.

What: “Unsubscribe for Sports,” a campaign urging people to ditch one of their (probably multiple) streaming services, so they can spend more time pursuing an active lifestyle, which is a cornerstone of the Vector brand positioning.

When & Where: The campaign launched this week, running for the next eight weeks across digital and social. The assets are driving to the Unsubscribe for Sports website, where viewers can learn about the offer and take immediate action.

Why: When Vector debuted in the 1990s, the high protein cereal brand positioned itself as being suitable for high-performance athletes seeking an edge. Kellogg started courting more recreational athletes in 2019. It redoubled those efforts  in the wake of the pandemic, beginning with last year’s “Off the Couch” bags (which positioned the couch as an enemy of sports enthusiasts) followed by the recent “For the Glory of Sports” campaign.

With its latest campaign, Vector is targeting what it describes as “oversubscribed and undersportsed” Canadians, who have been transformed into Covid couch potatoes and the broad array of streaming services at their disposal. According to recent Angus Reid data, 23% of Canadians currently subscribe to at least three services.

“This is another rallying cry for the same target to get off the couch, disconnect, and unsubscribe, so you can get out and keep doing the thing you really love to do, which is play,” said Mandy Eaton, vice-president, group account director at Leo Burnett.

How: The campaign’s hook is urging Canadians to unsubscribe from a streaming service, and prove it by sending a screenshot of the cancellation email to Kellogg. Every entry will receive a coupon for a free box of Vector, as well as a chance to win one of three $2,500 sports equipment gift cards.

It’s being promoted by videos showing how too much streaming is turning us into a nation of mindless TV-watching zombies. In the lead 30-second spot, “Free Your Eyeballs,” a man is on his couch, the light from his TV screen reflected in his eyes as he joylessly consumes a steady stream of content that references popular shows like Friends and For All Mankind.

“Look at all that watching,” says the voiceover. “Another episode, another series, another streaming service to watch the stuff you couldn’t watch with your subscription to that other streaming service.” The spot reminds viewers that there’s a “living body attached to those eyeballs,” and urges them to visit the Unsubscribe for Sports website.

While Kellogg has about 22,000 free boxes of Vector standing by should people follow through on its call-to-action, Eaton said the campaign is more about delivering the message that people can adopt a more physical lifestyle, and the cereal brand can help.

“What we really love about the idea is that even if somebody doesn’t participate, the message is so bang-on for this brand,” she said. “It’s less about literally going and unsubscribing, and more about what that actually means. If they walk away saying ‘I spend too much time on the couch in front of the TV, let me go sign up for a recreational basketball league,’ that really is the core of this idea.”

Chris Powell