The Wheaties brand relies on a sports theme and the “The Breakfast of Champions” slogan. Its website is no different. The site’s first image, not surprisingly, is of a hand scribbling what resembles football plays on a chalkboard, then erasing the hypothetical plays and jotting down, “Bring out the champion in you,” while a muffled voice speaks in the background. The high-intensity Flash Player has an energetic feel to it, complementing Wheaties’ stimulating identity. Upon further review, the somewhat audible voice in the background is of a sports broadcaster announcing football player Doug Flutie’s famous “Hail Mary” pass to Gerard Phelan in November 1984, which gave Boston College a stunning 47 to 45 victory over the University of Miami.
Wheaties hopes sports fans, its target audience, will reminisce about Flutie and his teammates celebrating the win like little leaguers who just won a Saturday afternoon game in their recreational league and are now ready for a snack from the nearby ice cream truck. Interestingly, however, many young sports fans, and, therefore, Wheaties consumers, were not even born before this miracle play and may not be able to differentiate Doug Flutie from a duct flute.
Nonetheless, the older crowd should get chills down their spines listening to the announcer’s call. Whether Flutie even ate Wheaties the morning of the game is unclear and, truthfully, not that important. Instead and most importantly, the site successfully captures the feeling of euphoria of both winning a sporting event and eating Wheaties for breakfast.
To the left of the aforementioned chalkboard, a Wheaties box featuring current basketball star Steve Nash (perfectly timed for the basketball playoffs in the US) is displayed. For all the impressionable youngsters visiting the website, there is a note at the bottom of the site stating that limited edition Steve Nash boxes are available in stores.
With consumers becoming increasingly more health conscious, Wheaties smartly adds a box above the Steve Nash carton with the information “100% whole grain, good source of fiber, low in fat.” This surely won’t appeal, or at the least, be a compelling stat for the youngster who just wants to slurp his milk and cereal, but it likely will catch the interest of the adult purchasing the cereal box for the family.
After looking at all the site’s features, the user then is instructed to click the word “Go” on the chalkboard.
The site takes a few seconds to load the “Hall of Champions,” which is a graphic of a football stadium’s dark, intimidating hallway leading to the football field. With the crowd cheering in the background, there is text on the screen indicating that the user should keep clicking the mouse to draw closer to the playing field.
A kid’s voice then asks, “Hey, can I get your autograph?” A graphic of a sheet of paper appears centered on the screen followed by a hand holding a pen. The user is instructed to type his/her name, which enables the user’s “hand” to autograph the paper. The kid screams out, “Wow, thanks!” as if it were the autograph of, well, a champion.
“The moment you have all been waiting for is almost here,” shouts the announcer on an imaginary loudspeaker after a few more clicks of the mouse. “Ladies and gentlemen, I give you your everyday champion.”
Yes, the user is referred to as a champion on the Wheaties website. And what, according to Wheaties, do champions have for breakfast? Exactly.
Soon, the site is filled with an image of a football stadium with the user’s name (taken from the earlier signature) shown on the big scorecard.
The user can click on banners on the field to go to the Wheaties home page, a sweepstakes page, a “Take the ‘Fit to Win’ Challenge” page, or a page that sends someone else a link to the Wheaties site. All this occurs amidst the constant cheers of the crowd.
The site also holds true to the Wheaties brand color with an orange bar at the top of the home page and links to “latest news,” “history,” “champions list,” “nutrition,” and “personalized boxes.” However, it should be noted that it is necessary to have at least Macromedia Flash version 8 to view all of the features.
To the core, Wheaties is about sports and champions; it is not about just eating the cereal, but also about feeling proud and strong. The website does a good job in relaying this approach by incorporating a strong sports atmosphere. Whether it is the roar from the crowd or the announcer in the background referring to the user as a “champion,” the site successfully resembles its product and its brand.