Sandy Uridge, senior director of integrated consumer promotions, Kellogg Co.
No Olympic marketing challenge is greater than the transition from a Summer Games to a Winter Games. Marketers have less than 18 months to develop and launch a campaign. Sandy Uridge, senior director of integrated consumer promotions at Kellogg Co., is putting the finishing touches on that brand’s efforts for the 2014 Sochi Games, with plans to launch the program next week.
With professional sports, it’s all about Q Scores. With Olympians, a lot of times consumers don’t know them at all. It’s more about the story than that they’re the most well-known. What’s charming about them is how consumers connect with the fact that these athletes have worked so hard to get to the Games. They connect with those personal stories, and that’s what we try to bring to consumers — that connection.
Winter vs. Summer: The “100 days out” occurs around Halloween, and the retail selling season is focused on many other things [before a Winter Games], like holidays, football and March Madness, whereas for a Summer Games, you start in April and have a much clearer window.
The best ideas: We have worked very hard to build an idea culture. The best testament to that is that our idea for our Olympic campaign actually came through a process called “pitch day.” That’s where anyone from innovation to marketing to our research team to any of our agencies can come in and pitch ideas to a panel of judges. … The whole idea of “From Great Starts Come Great Things” [the company’s Olympics campaign] came from our first pitch day.
Changes in Olympic marketing: Mostly, if you’re with a CPG company, that’s related to how we’re able to affect the situation with our retail customers. The USOC has been able to pull together CPG companies and drive scale at retail. It used to be retailers would say, “The Olympics are every two years. People are at home watching TV and not in my store. Why should I give you space?” The idea [USOC CMO] Lisa Baird and her team came up with to bring together P&G, Smucker’s and others at retail is making a huge difference.
Admirable brands: I really like Nike. They’re brave. They do some unexpected things. The TV spot from 2012 and “Find Your Greatness” was amazing. It was unexpected but so right for their brand.