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Taking a Cereal to the Next Level

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When Post Foods and Starcom MediaVest’s MV42 began to brainstorm about doing a program targeting U.S. Hispanics to gain some traction against bigger, stronger rivals Kellogg’s and General Mills, marketer and agency found Jencarlos Canela.

The telenovela star, singer and composer had risen to fame as the star of Telemundo’s nightly drama Más sabe el diablo and was about to embark on a concert tour. A young face brimming with positivity was the piece Post was looking for to finally make its mark in the growing U.S. Hispanic market, raise brand awareness and increase purchase intent in the crowded — and competitive — cereal segment.

“Pensemos positivo” (Think Positive), a 360-degree multiplatform marketing initiative featuring Canela, was launched in early 2011 across all Telemundo and mun2 platforms. The program also included the creation of a three-minute branded music video, a dedicated website (, and a sweepstakes offering contestants the chance to win a trip to Miami for a private performance.

The sweepstakes was promoted on air, online, out of home, over the radio and on 4 million Honey Bunches of Oats cereal boxes. It was the first time a celebrity was featured on a Honey Bunches of Oats cereal box.

The result? According to Post Foods, the campaign more than delivered on its return-on-investment promise, with Jencarlos’ photo on the cereal boxes outselling the competition. “The ‘Pensemos positivo’ campaign enabled Honey Bunches of Oats to close the gap and become parity with the #1 cereal trademark in the Hispanic Market for the first time in the brand’s history,” Mike Foley, senior ABM of Hispanic/WIC, Post Foods, said.