linked in facebook twitter rss

  • Interbrand
  • Brandchannel

your chance!
your chance!
Diamond Shreddies - askew
Also of interest


  Diamond Shreddies - askew
Diamond Shreddies
by Renée Alexander
May 5, 2008

It’s no longer hip to be square.

Cereals have long positioned themselves as kid-friendly through cartoon spokespeople and animals or good for you because of their healthy ingredients, but rarely have breakfast staples been accused of having a sense of humor.

Shreddies is changing all that by turning things upside down—or, perhaps more accurately, by 45 degrees.

The long-time Canadian favorite recently introduced Diamond Shreddies, an innovation that looks suspiciously like the old version except that they’ve been tilted a one-eighth turn in either direction. The multi-media launch kicked off with a television ad featuring an attentive assembly line worker watching row upon row of square Shreddies pass before his eyes. Suddenly, he smacks the emergency stop button. Moments later, a team of workers and supervisors are staring incredulously at obvious defects—Shreddies turned ever so slightly so they’re in a diamond shape.

Simultaneously, Post Cereals, the parent company of Shreddies, launched a complementary website.

“Recent advances in cereal technology have allowed us to take Shreddies cereal to a whole new level of geometric superiority. One taste and you’ll wonder how you’ve been so square for so long. Welcome to the 45th degree,” says the home page.

Jennifer Hutchinson, Toronto-based director of marketing for Post, says that after talking to customers, the company decided Shreddies needed a facelift. People certainly knew the brand and many remembered eating it when they were kids, but it wasn’t on their radar during all-important visits to the grocery store.

“They told us it felt a little outdated, but at the same time we couldn’t change anything about the product, they loved it just the way it was,” she says. “The Diamond Shreddies campaign is a fun and engaging way to reinforce to people that Shreddies are great the way they are. It’s a different way to talk about them, a new twist on an old favorite,” she says.

Hutchinson says the company has purposely tried to drive traffic from their television sets to the Diamond Shreddies site. There consumers can link to web videos, recipes, games, a contest, and more closely interact with the brand than they can in a 30-second spot.

Humor is evident throughout the site. For example, each recipe (for treats such as Caramel, Popcorn and Nut Crunch, Honey Mustard Munch Mix, and Diamond Shreddies Crunchy Granola) comes with a helpful hint: “If Diamond Shreddies cereal is not available, you can substitute with square Shreddies cereal.”

The videos, which use real people instead of actors, are particularly amusing. In one, a focus group leader asks various participants to rate Diamond Shreddies on various scales, starting with 1 to 10. After asking one man to rate them from A to Z, the man replies “about an E.” One woman, when asked to use an animal scale ranging from an amoeba to an elephant, replies, “a kangaroo.”

“It’s just a happy animal,” she says.

Another man, when shown two boxes, one of Diamond Shreddies and another of regular Shreddies, says he would expect the two to taste the same but the former looks like it “tastes better.”

“I would be more likely to try this box than the traditional (Shreddies), it does look more interesting,” he says.

Replies the focus group leader: “It’s funny, some people don’t even notice the difference.”

Then, after asking the man to do a blind taste test, the leader “accidentally” spills the contents from two plates on to the table. He tells his subject they need to be separated back on to their respective dishware. When the perplexed man asks how, he’s told, “it should be obvious, pick one up and see if it’s a diamond or a square.”

Seconds later, there he is, deftly differentiating between the two types and putting them on the proper plates.

“Afterwards, we brief them on how we were going to use the videos and they laugh along with us,” Hutchinson says.

“The Web is a great tool to reach more consumers in a different way. We’ve taken the less traditional approach with videos and billboards. A traditional campaign wouldn’t have had as many people talking about it,” she says.

Indeed, would a typical advertising campaign have spawned more than two dozen groups (both for and against) on the popular social networking site Facebook, and rants on YouTube by people who obviously don’t get the joke?

“If you Google it, there’s a lot of chatter around Diamond Shreddies. People are saying, ‘is this real, did you see this?’ It has created a two-way dialogue,” she says.

The Diamond Shreddies site takes things one step further by asking consumers to choose between the new Diamond Shreddies (described as “new” and “exciting”) and the traditional version (“old” and “boring”) in an online poll. Nearly 15,000 votes have been cast, with Diamond Shreddies holding down a commanding 60 per cent to 40 per cent lead.

Hutchinson says she received a note from one parent telling the story of her daughter rallying the people in her neighborhood to vote to save square Shreddies.


Renée Alexander is a freelance business and lifestyle writer based in Winnipeg, Canada.

*Due to the constantly changing environment of websites, some reviews may no longer reflect the current website for this brand.
 commenting closed Add Social Bookmark bookmark  print
 suggest topic  recommend ( 23 )  email

Diamond Shreddies - askew
 Simple, brilliant, fun - and easy for most everyone to 'get' almost immediately. The media for the campaign has likewise been well-timed and layered. I've no doubt it's moved product off the shelves 
Don Masters, President - May 5, 2008
 In the UK the new Shreddies ad shows legions of rosy-cheeked "nanas" (grandmothers) knitting the squares of cereal. While emphasising shreddies' unique construction, this approach clearly aims to embrace the fact it is an "outdated" product. Except that knitting has recently become fashionable in the UK, and no longer the preserve of seniors... 
Andrea Caldecourt, Chief Executive, - May 9, 2008
  brandchannel Digital Watch archive   2012  |  2011  |  2010  |  2009  | 2008  |  2007  |  2006  |  2005  |  2004  |  2003  |  2002  |  2001
Dec 22, 2008 Nestlé’s Everyday Milk - dairy intimate -- Umair Naeem
  Everyday milks tea time in Pakistan.
Dec 15, 2008 Brill - cutting it online? -- Abram Sauer
  Brill is sharp online.
Dec 8, 2008 Femina - fashionable? -- Preeti Khicha
  How Femina clicks with Indian women.
Dec 1, 2008 Cricinfo - fan friendly? -- Umair Naeem
  Cricinfo swings at the future.
Nov 24, 2008 - sensitive? -- Abram Sauer
  Does this website dispose of diaper confusion?
Nov 17, 2008 - resourceful? -- Abram Sauer
  What is the future of
Nov 10, 2008 Campbell's Soup - un-canny -- Abram Sauer
  Why Campbell's Soup is good for the online soul.
Nov 3, 2008 Arsenal - homepage advantage -- Preeti Khicha
  This website needs a kick in the grass.
Oct 27, 2008 Cathay Pacific Airways - cabin fever -- Shashank Nigam
  Cathay Pacific Airways takes flight online.
Oct 20, 2008 Flip Video - sleek -- Abram Sauer
  Can Flip Video zoom in on online shoppers?
Oct 13, 2008 Asian Paints - a-peeling? -- Preeti Khicha
  Can Asian Paints brush aside online competition?
Oct 6, 2008 Scholastic StudyJams - brain candy -- Alycia de Mesa
  Why Scholastic StudyJams rocks online.
Sep 29, 2008 Incredible India - too spicy? -- Preeti Khicha
  Indian culture spices up this dynamic website
Sep 22, 2008 Pottery Barn - home coming -- Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  Does Pottery Barn's website sit well with the brand?
Sep 15, 2008 British Monarchy - rules -- Anthony Zumpano
  Is the British Monarchy's website a royal pain?
Sep 8, 2008 Charmin - main squeeze -- Abram Sauer
  Charmin's website offers a load of information.
Sep 1, 2008 Canadian Museum for Human Rights - ground breaking? -- Renée Alexander
  CMHR goes online to give tragic history a new life.
Aug 25, 2008 Coke Studio (Pakistan) - pop music -- Umair Naeem
  Coke Studio is music to consumers' ears.
Aug 18, 2008 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - antivirus -- Jennifer Gidman
  How healthy is the CDC online?
Aug 11, 2008 Nexium - soothing -- Anthony Zumpano
  Will Nexium online upset your stomach?
Aug 4, 2008 WebbliWorld - weberrific! -- Alycia de Mesa
  Kids practice real life in WebbliWorld.
Jul 28, 2008 SPAM - not spam -- Jennifer Gidman
  How the SPAM website hams it up online.
Jul 21, 2008 Telenor - still loading... -- Umair Naeem
  Why Telenor's website doesn't communicate in Pakistan.
Jul 14, 2008 Diane Von Furstenberg - seamless? -- Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  Is DVF’s website dressed to perfection?
Jul 7, 2008 Schwinn - re-cycled -- Abram Sauer
  An old bike brand pedals its way up a competitive hill.
Jun 30, 2008 Dawn - headlines -- Umair Naeem
  A new day for Pakistani news online.
Jun 23, 2008 US Army - soldiers on -- Abram Sauer
  The Army goes online in force.
Jun 16, 2008 Scientology - decoded -- Jenn Gidman
  Scientology's heavy duty online
Jun 9, 2008 Ya Kun Kaya Toast - jammed -- Adeline Chong
  Ya Kun Kaya: a toast for Singapore
Jun 2, 2008 Economic Times—India - above the fold -- Preeti Khicha
  Does the Economic Times balance online?
May 26, 2008 Shell Oil - shell game -- Abram Sauer
  Shell a shell of itself online
May 19, 2008 Winnipeg Airports Authority - on board -- Renée Alexander
  Winnipeg Airport gets lift-off online
May 12, 2008 Benjamin Moore - primed -- Jim Thompson
  Paint-by-numbers or online masterpiece?
Apr 28, 2008 Baskin Robbins - freezes online? -- Preeti Khicha
  Why we all scream.
Apr 21, 2008 Skunkfunk - clunks -- Abram Sauer
  No brand design behind
Apr 14, 2008 Langham Hotels - no baggage -- Kimberly Maul
  Langham Hotels website a roomful of luxury
Apr 7, 2008 Bionade - dry -- Renée Alexander watered down with facts
Mar 31, 2008 Aveda - applies -- Anthony Zumpano
  Aveda's online eco-chic is more than make-up
Mar 24, 2008 Gilly Hicks: Sydney - flashers -- Abram Sauer
  Does Gilly Hicks reveal the naked truth?
Mar 17, 2008 Skoda Fabia - maharaja? -- Preeti Khicha
  Fabia slower than the competition.
Mar 10, 2008 John McCain - represents -- Jim Thompson
  John McCain delegates online
Mar 3, 2008 Paperchase - pulp addiction -- Preeti Khicha
  Paperchase online, page by page.
Feb 25, 2008 Barack Obama - clicks with voters? -- Jennifer Gidman
  Obama sees votes in reach online.
Feb 18, 2008 Vans - ramped -- Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  Is a good fit for rebellious youth?
Feb 11, 2008 McDonald's Happy Meal - plays ketchup -- Jennifer Gidman
  Happy Meal online a sign of changing times.
Feb 4, 2008 Fitness Magazine - balanced -- Preeti Khicha
  Log in and work out with Fitness Magazine.
Jan 28, 2008 Morton's Salt - fine brine -- Anthony Zumpano
  Morton Salt is no bland brand online.
Jan 21, 2008 Indy League Racing - lap dance -- Robyn Schechter
  The IRL brand is in a race for viewers.
Jan 14, 2008 John West - fishy? -- Ian Cocoran
  The John West website feels a little grizzly
Jan 7, 2008 D-Link - net-works -- Kimberly Maul
  D-Link tries networking the networking business.