Munch 'Ems wanted to raise unit sales during the notoriously
slow spring time period. The problem was how to stand out
in the very competitive and highly-segmented cracker category,
whose biggest sales period--the holidays, Super Bowl, Valentines
Day--had just passed and whose second most lucrative time
period--summer--was still months away.
Created The Ernie Awards, named for Ernie the Keebler Elf
and a take-off on The Academy Awards--the only significant
event during the time period but one that consumers would
likely snack to while viewing.
a whimsical, humorous, tongue-in-cheek print campaign and
in-store materials that mimicked all things Hollywood, complete
with Variety-like art and copy replete with gossipy tell-all
tidbits about the product.
the campaign's effectiveness and created genuine excitement
with the addition of promotional elements: a sweeps overlay
with a trip to Hollywood to attend the Oscars as prize, movie
passes, attendance at premiers, VCR and DVD players, rentals,
movie posters, etc. Involved consumers by awarding "The Ernie"
(the equivalent of "The Oscar" in the snack cracker world)
as well as the above prizes to consumers who correctly picked
from various invented product attribute categories such as
"Best Snack Cracker in a Leading Role" etc.
TV and radio that aped old-time movie trailers.
ran up to and during the actual Academy Awards broadcast keeping
The Ernie Awards an "event within an event."
Keebler Munch 'Ems sales spiked significantly during the spring
• The Ernie
Awards prompted other Keebler brands to copy its success.
• The campaign's
promotional aspect "drove" the advertising instead of vice
• Movie tie-ins,
previously never considered at Keebler, became effective marketing
singled out for praise in Adweek's Creative Gallery.