Kellogg’s is starting to treat influencers like brand ambassadors.
Rather than pick influencers based on their reach and negotiate contracts on a per-campaign basis, the CPG manufacturer wants influencers who are genuine fans of its brands and are open to longer-term relationships.
When British endurance athlete and blogger Sophie Radcliffe completed the Manchester Run race earlier this month, she ran a post shortly after the race that thanked the Special K cereal brand for its support. It was a paid for promotion, but it did encapsulate the goodwill that had grown between influencer and advertiser from working together on a campaign over a longer period of time, said Joseph Harper, social media lead at Kellogg’s U.K. and Ireland at the Digiday Brand Summit Europe on May 22.
“Rather than paying for Sophie’s audience because she’s young and trendy, we tried to immerse her in our campaign,” said Harper. Radcliffe is someone who believes in Special K and can create content that shows how the cereal powers women every day as part of a balanced diet, said Harper.
Partnerships like these allow Kellogg’s marketers to lean on the expertise of the people actually buying their products; and the collaboration between the brand and its consumers produce content that audiences will find more interesting, entertaining and useful, said Harper. This doesn’t mean handing over full control to the influencers, but using their insights, knowledge and creativity to inform campaigns. In some instances, for example, influencers are being used further upstream in marketing strategies for Kellogg’s brands. The advertiser recently held a product development workshop in London where influencers for health and fitness were invited to share feedback on an upcoming product ahead of its global launch.
It points to a broader trend of influencers taking on more expansive briefs than what has traditionally amounted to product placement deals. Some of those deals would have otherwise gone to a creative agency. Instead, talent agency Gleam Futures, which has worked with Kellogg’s in the past, has created a brand consultancy Gleam Solutions in a bid to push influencers to those larger, more lucrative projects.