This week major food brand Kellogg’s entered the world of smartphone apps with its first offering — myPlan, the Special K Challenge application for iPhone and Android platforms. Kellogg created the app with global ad agency Leo Burnett and mobile media agency MediaMob. The app enables users to create a two-week diet plan, update daily and weekly menus, track progress, find recipes, create shopping lists and receive motivational tips. Kellogg’s Associate Director for the Special K brand, Jesper Lund Jacobson took some time to explain the timing of Kellogg’s first mobile app, myPlan and how it plans to drive adoption of the diet app.
What makes this app different from other diet apps?
This application is based on Special K Challenge, which is a weight loss program Special K has supported in the United States for about the last 10 years. Up until now this weight loss plan has been communicated through the normal channels of television, print and advertising. Those had directed consumers to go to the challenge’s website to customize a plan, print it out and maybe stick it on a fridge or leave it in a drawer somewhere. The mobile app is taking that challenge and putting it within the reach of a consumer’s fingertips no matter where they go. Then we can push motivational messages, tips and tricks to help keep them successful in their weight loss challenge. This is a free app, of course, but part of it is meal planning and those meals need to be purchased by the consumer, of course.
Why launch the app now?
There are really two reasons we developed this app: With mobile Kellogg will have a new touchpoint for its consumers. Mobile phones are new for us and its a media channel that is evolving fast. This app will help us get into the market and get some key learnings. For the Special K brand, well, we already had a relationship with consumers who have been participating in the challenge, but mobile is a huge opportunity for us.
January is a peak season for weight loss plans because of New Year’s Resolutions. Women, especially have resolutions related to their health and particularly weight management. As the calendar turns from one year to the next we notice adoption of our Special K Challenge goes up. There is heavy adoption throughout the year, but it’s particularly strong in January. That’s the peak season.
Why didn’t you launch this app in December 2009?
Well, look at the penetration of smartphones now and then. It’s just totally exploded in the past twelve months. I believe we are now at a tipping point for smartphone adoption. iPhone has been leading the way but now with all these Android devices coming out, there is now mass reach within this media. It wasn’t there a year ago. Of course, we are slightly more conservative than others, too. This is our first app for Special K and our first app for Kellogg.
How will this app be promoted?
Promoting it through specialk.com will be a huge driver. We get a significant amount of traffic there — I can’t share exact numbers but it’s in the millions. We expect to put a significant amount of PR into this launch throughout December including more consumer-facing PR related to the Special K Challenge overall. What will be new, however, is our mobile efforts. We will be doing special advertising campaigns that include mobile banners inserted into websites being viewed via smartphones. These banners will take users right to the download page for the app. We’ll also be using search engine optimization for mobile users searching for things like weight loss programs and health programs. The amount of money we invest in mobile advertising is also pretty significant.
Does the app change the Challenge at all? Provide new features? Keep reading>>