Kellogg’s started the 100-day countdown to this year’s Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro with an event on April 28 in New York's Union Square, introducing its overall Olympic campaign "Gets Me Started," with some new members of Team USA.
Kellogg’s has been involved with the American Olympic team since 1976, and became an official sponsor in 2011 before the 2012 London Olympics. For the Rio Games, the brand decided to focus on first-time members of the squad, with Simone Biles (gymnastics), Julie Johnston (soccer), Tom Shields (swimming), Ajee Wilson (800m runner) and Paralympian Natalie Bieule (discus) to work with on the campaign, along with 12-time Olympic medallist, Dara Torres (swimming).
Kellogg’s senior director of marketing Jeremy Harper explains the strategy behind the choice of athletes. "We look for people who have an interesting story, people that are passionate about what gets them started, what gets them out of bed in the morning," says Harper. "What we’re looking for is really great stories that haven’t yet been told."
Each athlete has made a film to open the campaign, in which they reveal some background to their daily lives and, of course, the importance of breakfast. For example, middle-distance runner Ajee Wilson is seen training around her neighborhood, and Paralympian Natalie Bieule is filmed with her two young daughters and talks about how they motivate her to keep going.
Harper believes these real-life scenarios are the most relatable and inspiring. "We talked to each of these athletes and yes, they’ve got the big dream, the Olympics, but actually, the vast majority of what they do is about day-in-day-out training,' says Harper. "What is that thing that drives them every day? I think we can all relate to that."
As the campaign unfolds, Kellogg’s and the athletes will post photos, social posts, and tweets about their motivation, using the hashtag #GetsMeStarted. Each athlete will also be partnered with a relevant influencer, including bloggers, and even chefs, who will act as fans, supporting the athlete’s stories, and with whom it is hoped they will develop a bond as the Games approach, and thus drive wider conversations. Further content will be hosted on a Kellogg's Team USA website.
For the event in Union Square, Kellogg’s aims to recreate each athlete’s sport for New Yorkers to experience. "For a lot of the athletes, that’s reasonably straightforward," Harper says. "Ajee is running through Central Park, for example. But the challenge was, how do we put an Olympic swimming pool in the middle of New York?"
The answer is virtual reality. Swimmer Tom Shields was filmed by Deluxe, a company that worked on the movie, Gravity. The resulting film takes viewers from standing on the starting block through to the final touch. "The biggest thing for me is it's not a gimmick, it really is a powerful storytelling tool," says Harper. "You absolutely feel like you’re in it [the pool], it’s quite incredible."