Keebler Rolls New Kids’ Snack

Cheez-It Extension Gets $10 Mil. Campaign
CHICAGO–Keebler this week launches a marketing effort for the first extension of its Cheez-It snack crackers.
The company has set a $58 million marketing budget for the introduction of Cheez-It Heads and Tails, an extension of the Cheez-It brand that will be targeted to kids. Of that total, $10 million will fund media advertising, including a 30-second TV spot that breaks today on Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and other kid-focused cable programming. Remaining spending will go to in-store merchandising, couponed newspaper inserts and trade marketing programs.
The spot, from Leo Burnett here, shows a child creating new animals by mixing and matching the snack crackers’ head- and body-shaped pieces. A lion and elephant also collide and, through a bit of computer animation, swap heads.
Cheez-It was one of the brands Keebler added in 1996 when it merged with Sunshine Biscuit Co.
It received no media ad support in 1997, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
“There’s no question the brand has been undermarketed,” said Dave Karpick, Keebler senior brand manager. “We knew we needed to talk to consumers about the brand [with advertising], but we also saw an opportunity with Heads and Tails to expand the Cheez-It brand to kids, [whom] it didn’t previously reach.”
For the 52 weeks ending Aug. 16, Cheez-It had a 6.6 percent share of the $2.8 million salty snack cracker market, according to Information Resources. Nabisco’s Ritz leads with a 12.7 percent share.