Kellogg Taps Yahoo! to Expand Loyalty Program

Kellogg Co. is bringing in Web portal Yahoo! to support its incentive program, in a move designed to boost the effort’s reach to children.

As a result of a multi-year deal between the two, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo! will promote the program, dubbed “Eet and Ern,” in Yahooligans! Site, which is geared toward kids. The site will include a special area for program members to access their accounts.

The program, which debuted in 2000, aimed to boost the popularity of Battle Creek, Mich.-based Kellogg’s cereals among children by encouraging them to collect redeemable points from the company’s breakfast products. The program featured two cartoonish mascots, Eet and Ern (of course meaning “eat” and “earn”) a Web site,, and attracted about 1.2 million users since it launched in spring of 2000.

Now, the program is angling for a larger crowd. When it relaunches in spring, more than 170 million boxes of selected cereals (under the company’s Kellogg’s brand) and Pop-Tarts pastries will promote the account-information and redemption area on Yahooligans!.

Additionally, the revamped promotion will offer codes that can be redeemed on Yahoo! for a chance at instant prizes.

Meanwhile, a “comprehensive media program” across Yahoo! properties will seek to attract new members to the program, said Kevin Smith, senior vice president for marketing services at Kellogg’s USA.

“By partnering with Yahoo!, Kellogg will be able to offer a more comprehensive interactive experience for consumers,” Smith said.

The move continues Yahoo!’s efforts to land big-name advertisers in deals involving more than simply media buys. For instance, the work with Kellogg includes also entails co-branded site development and offline promotion.

“We are very pleased to align with Kellogg’s to further develop and expand their already successful EET and ERN program,” said Yahoo! chief advertising sales officer Wenda Harris Millard. “This relationship allows Yahoo! and Kellogg’s to leverage the strong synergies between the two brands and create new opportunities for consumers, both online and offline.”

Additionally, the deal represents something of a coup for Yahoo!, since Kellogg also has fairly recent — and extensive — marketing deals with two other big-name players in Web media: AOL Time Warner and the Walt Disney Co. In May, Disney and Kellogg teamed up for a joint promotion for the animated feature film “Atlantis: The Lost Empire.” Five months later, AOL signed a multi-year agreement to promote the cereal giants’ Kellogg’s and Keebler brands via online and offline channels.

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