Dublin, Ireland - Kellogg’s tried a new promotion in June that failed miserably and became a public relations nightmare for the company. Kellogg’s popular product Pop-Tarts attempted to generate new sales during a severe slump In the breakfast market. The promotion was highlighted with an endorsement from a popular movie and book series by Roald Dahl.
The idea was simple. Pop-Tarts would introduce Golden Tickets into their breakfast pastries entitling the winners a private tour of the Kellogg’s home office as well as a seven day trip to Ireland with all expenses paid. The prize sounded amazing to countless people, who flooded stores attempting to find these tickets.
There were two problems to Kellogg’s execution, however. First, instead of the traditional five tickets from the Willy Wonka stories, Kellogg’s had included fifty tickets. This was part of a processing error by the computer software, causing the company to stand to lose significant amounts of money on flights and hotels, as well as expenses. The tickets did not place a cap on the value of the package.
The second problem with Kellogg’s strategy was they decided to place the tickets inside the pastries themselves. The paper tickets mixed with the fillings, dissolving the paper and taint the pastry. People would have to bite into the pastry to find the ticket. Several people became sick after eating their breakfast pastries, even after removing the paper tickets.
Kellogg’s has been in damage control mode for the last few days as more people have found tickets promising these trips and people have ended up in the hospital. Kellogg’s stock dropped 14 percent in the past week as the estimated losses have topped $100 million. Kellogg’s has been trying to assure stockholders that they have the operating capital to manage these losses, and that the promotion has generated 34 percent more sales than this same period in 2010. Experts don’t agree with that assessment as sales are expected to decline in the wake of this failed promotion and fears of contamination at the processing plant.
Annabel Lee is a freelance journalist for the Baltimore Fake Times Journal. She was always more into Alice in Wonderland than Willy Wonka. Though, she really enjoyed seeing Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka more than Gene Wilder.