SURREAL is a U.K.-based company that makes high-protein, low-carb, zero-sugar cereal.
But have a look at how much it costs to order some shipped to your home...
Four boxes of 240g cereal for what works out to almost $40 CDN at today's exchange rates, and that's before shipping, taxes, and duties. To compare, I can go to Walmart right now and buy a 400g box of high-protein Vector cereal for $5.47, or $16.41 CDN for the same quantity.
SURREAL has clearly anticipated people like me who will do the cost-per-gram calculations; clicking on the circled question mark beside the price brings up this candid Q&A...
Still, how's a challenger brand like SURREAL realistically supposed to compete with global cereal giants like Kellogg Company, General Mills, Post Holdings, and Quaker Oats Company who have the enormous marketing budgets needed to drive awareness and trial for their brands and the scale needed to make their cereals significantly more affordable?
By enlisting the help of some big celebrity names!
Unfortunately, they could only afford the names.
The following five photos showcase the company's latest out-of-home advertising efforts:
To introduce these bait-and-switch ads to the business crowd, here's what SURREAL posted on LinkedIn earlier this week:
"We didn't check that with legal, but we're sure it's fine."
None of the global cereal giants I mentioned earlier would even think about ever trying a stunt like this one. That's because each of those companies has a team of lawyers that would advise them the more famous holders of those names would be highly motivated to seek significant compensation from companies with market capitalizations in the billions.
But is Michael Jordan, with an estimated net worth of USD 1.7 billion, really going to bother trying to sue a tiny U.K. cereal company he could buy with a tiny fraction of his net worth?
It's possible, of course, but I don't think the founders of SURREAL are worried.
In fact, doubling down on the stunt, Surreal co-founder Kit Gammell was quoted as saying, "If anyone knows a Dave Beckham, please get in touch."
Every so often, I come across an advertising campaign that doesn't require any explanation as to why it's so effective in driving awareness for a brand.
I think it's safe to say this is one of those times.