Special K USA is now following in Canada's strategic footsteps and re-branding the "pinch an inch" diet cereal as some sort of woman-fuel instead. Here is an alternative edit that is also currently airing, complete with mild cuss-word copy.
"Women can do amazing things," explains our spokesperson looking at the camera "our bodies can grow babies, we run marathons, companies, solve problems." Now how can women do all that? Well, because they eat. Cut to lots of familiar womanly scenes such as wiggling out of your bra at the end of a long day, nursing your baby while snacking on a Special K bar, sharing special K snacks on the school bus and munching on a bowl of cereal for night snack. It's clear that Special K wants to reposition itself as some sort of woman-fuel, rather than diet brand, but the reaction from consumers seems to be one enormous eye-roll . The Daily Mail reported that "fans have blased brand for claiming eating as a feminist act" "We Don't Doubt It, We Own It," replaces the old tagline "Eat special, feel special" and is the first campaign from Leo Burnett after winning the client back in January.
Trying to make eating some sort of female-empowering act in a time when people are increasingly fed up with politicised ad strategies seems to already have backfired. But since Special K products contain lots of sugar, carbs and even trans fats, they had to steer slightly away from the "Healthy eating" idea. Hence the obvious "Women eat," as if doing so was out of the ordinary. Women also breathe. And sleep! Shocking, I know. I am honestly surprised nobody has called this ad transphobic yet, considering the baby-making and nursing. Someone starting a Twitter-rant "Not all women" against this ad for insinuating only women can give birth is practically inevitable.

Client: Kellogg's
Ad agency: Leo Burnett
Music: "Hope you have the time of your life" by Darude

Comments (1)

  • amy jo's picture
    amy jo (not verified)

    I guess I missed the whole "feminist" part. As a woman who almost died from an eating disorder, this ad gave me chills! The good kind! Yeah! WE EAT! And there should be no shame in it. Maybe it's because for so many years I would constantly hear "You're going to eat that???". I came to the point where I would refuse to eat in front of people. To the point of starvation. To the point of near death. My sick mind told me that I couldn't eat because I had to maintain a certain size and shape created by images on tv and in magazines. And that those comments meant "you're fat". Now as I grow through recovery I'm proud to eat!!!! " YES! WE EAT"
    I am soooooo far from a feminist. Almost 50 years old! And I love this ad! Thank you! Eating is somewhat empowering. And it should be looked at that way. Maybe the growth of eating disorders would slow down a bit.

    Sep 14, 2017

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Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.