For the past three years, Post Foods has used artist-driven campaigns to market its Honey Bunches of Oats cereal to the Hispanic marketplace, tapping Jencarlos Canela in 2011 and Prince Royce in 2012. They’ve proved to be so successful that, in an unprecedented move, Post is taking its new campaign to the broader market, using a song by Puerto Rican duo Domino Saints as the basis of both its Hispanic and mainstream media campaigns for 2013 and 2014.
This marks the first time Post has turned to music to promote its top-selling cereal to the general market, and the decision to do so is indicative of how brands are increasingly looking at the Hispanic marketplace for cues.
“If any partnership has arisen, it’s because there has been Hispanic dollars behind it,” Post senior brand manager of U.S. Hispanic and export Mike Foley says.
The enthusiasm stems as much from past success as it does from this particular campaign and the music behind it.
Foley, whose job was created in 2010 to target the Hispanic marketplace, says the brand was seeking a campaign heavy on consumer content and getting consumers to join a movement.
“That movement was, see if we can make America smile coast to coast. So we were thinking, ‘How can we bring consumers into the equation?’ And we were looking for talent that could do it.”
Post went to various music agencies and briefed 15 different composers on what it wanted. Among the 40 or so tracks that were proposed, one in particular stood out.
“Smile While You Shake It” was penned by producer Andres Dalmastro, who had previously worked with Post and who was working on a few projects with up-and-coming Puerto Rican duo Domino Saints. The group, signed to Universal Music Latino and made up of real-life couple Gigi Ojeda, 20, and David Leal, 30, plays a mix of urban, pop and dance that’s effortlessly bilingual. Together with Dalmastro, they approached the Post assignment with a fresh point of view.
“When we wrote the song we literally grabbed the cereal box and started shaking it,” Leal says. That shaking led to the samba beat that’s the basis of the track and drives the music video — directed by David Rousseau — and the 30- and 60-second commercial spots that just began airing on Spanish-language TV.
The box-shaking also opened the door to a broad, multilayered campaign that will extend through the end of 2014.
The campaign will include TV and radio spots as well as a heavy online component. For example, in tandem with the ad and the video, Post launched a website, BunchesOfBeats.com, where fans can upload their version of the video and compete weekly for $500 gift cards.
In addition, through media partner Univision, Post and Domino Saints will be featured on several shows and in related campaigns, including integration on morning program “Despierta America.”
Honey Bunches of Oats’ first foray into a Latin music campaign was in 2011 through a partnership with Telemundo that featured soap star/singer/composer Jencarlos Canela as the face and voice of Post’s “Pensemos Positivo” (Think Positive) campaign. Canela was also featured on 4 million boxes of the cereal nationwide.
Then, in 2012, Post recruited Prince Royce for a “Positive Mix” campaign that was tied to the Latin Grammy Awards and also included a sweepstakes to meet Royce, in addition to featuring his face on 4 million cereal boxes.
This time, Post went with a lesser-known artist but is taking the campaign much further, extending it for nearly 12 months, across multiple markets, and featuring Domino Saints on 10 million boxes.
In addition, Universal will release the track as a single later this year and include it on Domino Saints’ upcoming album.
“It’s an unparalleled marketing platform,” says Gustavo Lopez, executive VP of brand partnerships and digital at Universal Music Latin Entertainment.