TELEVISION / York On Ads: No 12: Kellogg's

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The Independent Culture
GREAT swathes of British advertising are now thoroughly incestuous, parodic and ironic, continually spoofing other ads, recent films and old television programmes - the ones ad creatives talk about to show they used to live in the same world as the rest of us. Kellogg's Cornflakes, on the other hand, can afford to be almost uniquely self-referential and original in its current 70th-birthday campaign.

The point about this fascinating company is its continuity - of both brand and product. And, too, of advertising agency. Kellogg has been working with J Walter Thompson in the UK since 1938. This means that JWT can showcase its own work. So the familiar crowing cock logo introduces selections from 40 years of the 30-second cornflake theatre: at the moment one has a choice of a somewhat Andrews Sisters-like threesome of 1955, or the taxi-driver's outdoor breakfast of the early Sixties (slightly British Neo-Realist, Tom Courtney and Rita Tushingham-ish). No doubt others from past campaigns will follow.

Kellogg's Cornflakes is a traditional superbrand, part of the 'old money' of FMCG - Fast Moving Consumer Goods - from a time before mobile telephones and financial services for all. Old is reassuring with a brand like this. And advertising history is lovely stuff of course - it makes for a nice nostalgic wallow for the more mature viewer, but is also a bit like one of BBC2's frequent pop-culture exhumations, appealing to the smarter young market as well. Kellogg's is aiming for gentle 'market stimulation' for the original product; what more civilised way to do it?

Videotapes supplied by Tellex Commercials.

(Photograph omitted)