Kellogg is claiming their Cocoa Krispies cereal can help boost kids' immunity against the H1N1 virus. Yes, you read that right. Kellogg has taken the sugar-coated message and stretched it into new territory that defies description.
The message, on the front of the box, states: "Now helps support your child's IMMUNITY."
Critics, to no one's surprise, are in full battle mode, claiming the company is simply trying to capitalize on parents' H1N1 fears.
So, you have to wonder, what was going through the corporate brains at Kellogg when they came up with this message? Did they really think it would pass the test of credible and verifiable?
In their lame attempt at defending their message, Kellogg claims they developed the product in response to consumers asking for more positive nutrition. This includes boosting the amount of antioxidant vitamins A, C and E which are important contributors to the body's immune capabilities.
Junk science? Probably. Junk messaging? Most assuredly.
So what should we take away from this story?
- Wanting to assert your relevance is a valid strategy but find a legitimate way to become a part of the conversation.
- For every action, there is a reaction. Or to put it another way: your messages don't live in a vacuum. Strain credulity and suffer the consequences.
- People infer other messages from the ones you put out. In this case, it might be that Kellogg is desperate to sell cereal.
- You can't control your message after it's out there, but you sure can control it before it's out there.
There's never been a better time to tell a good business story that's based on a truthful message.