Marketing Theme Concept
We know that Marshmallow Treat Magic is quicker, cleaner and safer than old-fashioned marshmallows, but we should also realize that for many people, there is a general dissatisfaction with the performance of marshmallows vis-à-vis treat making.
There is the perception (I have no idea if this is true or not) that the formula for marshmallows has changed making them harder to melt.
Here is a sampling of comments easily found online:
"Rice Krispy treats are becoming a thing of the past in my house. Great value (Walmart brand) marshmallows have stopped being meltable (is that even a word??) I’ve tried butter, margarine, nonstick pan, old fashioned everything sticks to it pan, high medium and low heat – and every configuration in between and I can’t make the marshmallows melt! Anybody else notice this!!!?? Marshmallows are supposed to melt, not turn into plastic. HELP!"
"I thought the marshmallows were old. I tried two packages of Ghetto Brand mallows (Walmart). What a waste — a stick of butter, 2 pkgs marshmallows and 6 cups of cocoa pebbles. GGGGRRRRR! Now what am I going to take to the Super Bowl party? No help here! I’m having the exact same problem right now! Got online to find some answers."
"No help here! I’m having the exact same problem right now! Got online to find some answers. At least I know I’m not alone and doing something wrong!"
"I’ve tried using Jet Puffed regular marshmallows on both the stovetop and in the microwave and it failed on both. On the stove it turned into something resembling caramel and in the microwave they puffed up then turned to plastic."
"Until about two years ago, marshmallows melted perfectly for me every time no matter how old they were and no matter which brand I was using. I’m wondering if the manufacturers changed their formula. Now I melt the butter over low heat, add the marshmallows and stir until it’s one big blob. I then stir/knead in the Rice Krispies. The Rice Krispie treats aren’t as pretty as they used to be but they still taste good."
"I am having this same problem. I had been melting marshmallows with no problems for years. Low heat, a little butter, a few minutes stirring, and perfect. Now they hold the shape and brown over heat but refuse to melt. I suspect the formula of several brands has been changed. I tried the adding a little water suggestion from Diane and it does help, thanks Diane. The results are still inferior to the old marshmallows though."
"I just tried the water trick and it worked. Not very happy about the quality of marshmallows these days…….Unbelievable! Was going to make Rice Crispy Squares with my son and I can confirm they won’t melt for me either. Water just makes a lumpy mess. I suppose I’ll have to make the marshmallows from scratch."
I propose that we market MTM as an "insurgent, revolutionary" reaction to "big marshmallow" or "establishment marshmallow". Big Marshmallow" would be "the all-powerful man" an evil, uncaring, unfeeling, rude, gravely-voiced character sitting in pan insulting and hectoring whoever is simply trying to make a plate of cereal treats. Think: Jabba the Hutt meets Scrooge McDuck. (mean but not scary).
Imagine a colorless kitchen with a stressed out looking woman trying to make cereal treats. She's startled when a big marshmallow in the pot starts talking to her:
"Hey, sweety, this is gonna take a while, so you might wanna pull up a chair, ha, ha, ha. Hey don't shoot me that look, YOU NEED ME! Everyone know ya need marshmallow to make cereal treats! Uh, oh...I'm startin' to burn! PAY ATTENNNNTIOOOON TOOOOO MEEEEEE!!! (and so on)
< Click the "play" button to the left to hear a possible voice.
Here is the shave club video I mentioned. They used the same general concept. While it might seem prohibitively expensive to bring
the marshmallow to "life, there are many affordable, fun and effective ways to accomplish this. Even cheap, hokey effects can be fun
as ADT used here:
Upbeat music starts, the kitchen becomes colorful and the MTM rabbit dances into frame bringing both MTM and joy to the woman. "Big Marshmallow" protests but is quickly discarded and defeated.
This video shows successful use of a mascot in an ad. It's not just some guy in a suit lamely handing a woman the package.
Instead, it must have personality, energy, and life.
"HEY-HEY! HO-HO! COOKING MARSHMALLOWS HAS GOT TO GO!" and the like. The signs would all be "classic" revolutionary-type posters that will practically be frame-quality "art" and handed out to interested bystanders along with intriguing "insergent" fliers leading people to a special page on the website that would tie into the theme and play one of the videos.
Additional versions would highlight MTM'S other benefits:
Illustrating the safety of MTM for kids:
"Wow kid, makin' cereal treats aaaall by yourself? You're growin' up! But I hope your Mommy's at home 'cause she's probably gonna have to kiss you boo-boo when ya get burned! HA! HA! HA!!!!
Highlighting "no mess":
"Ohhhh, that looks like a nice pot. This is gonna feel good! Oh....a non-stick coating? I DON'T THINK SO, HA! HA! HA!!!!
And so on.
Old fashioned marshmallows are the enemy. That's the compelling storyline, the hook. Like American or French revolutionaries overthrowing the bewigged, effete, out-of-touch aristocrats, MTM offers a new beginning, FREEDOM from cooking, and time-consuming treat making, etc.
Kraft has or will soon move their headquarters to downtown Chicago--the AON center. Have a group of people (or hire some hire some Art Institute kids on their lunch hour) to protest "big marshmallow". It would have to be played straight by everyone involved. The protester would march in a circle chanting such things as:
The value of this would be four-fold:
Fire up the troops with a good old "us against the evil empire" scenario.
"On-the-ground" awareness with a possible viral effect.
Media attention? Maybe (depending on news of the day) but not assured.
We'd videotape protest for future ads (humorously showing a "grassroots" demand for a product like MTM).
I believe this can all be done affordably. If your have any interest in this concept, I can further develop the idea (storyboards, etc.) and put together a budget.
As a split screen, time lapse comparison shot from above shows the woman making 3 or 4 pans (or whatever the right amount is) of MTM treats in the time it takes to make them the old fashioned way (great contrast) a traditional over-the-top sounding announcer explains how much easier and quicker it is to make treats with our product.
It could end in many ways, but one possible one would show the mom, kids, and rabbit, happily holding and eating treats, dancing around a large computer generated 3-D version of the prodcut logo and tagline "QUICKEST CEREAL TREATS, NO COOKING, NO MESS!" looking something like this: