Special K encourages women to embrace their bodies, moves on from slim models in red attire

Kellogg’s has launched a new campaign via Pead PR, Mindshare and JWT social for its Special K brand dubbed ‘Own it’, in partnership with Women’s Health Action, which celebrates women and encourages them to embrace their bodies, whatever the size, shape or form and celebrate their inner strength. The initiative is being pushed out through social media using strong Kiwi role models to help get the message across. 

The campaign, launched yesterday, was released in the Australasian market after a the original campaign was developed by Kellogg’s in Canada.

It encourages women to focus on what they can really change about their lives and pushes women to “ditch the doubt to inspire realistic and positive change so they can be their best selves”, according to a release.

The initiative spans across digital platforms, search and social media.

The hero 60-second TVC features women of all shapes and sizes achieving and refusing to let feelings about their body image get them down.

“Attitudes towards health and wellness have shifted dramatically in recent years, but there is still a degree of self-doubt that many women are grappling with,” says Kellogg’s ANZ Tamara Howe.

“Our New Zealand study shows that seven out of 10 New Zealand women have an ‘I hate my body’ moment every single week. That’s way too many,” she says.

“The new ‘Own It’ campaign aims to counter that negativity. While we may not be able to eliminate self-doubt for women, we can be their ally in the fight against it by focusing on what women love about themselves and becoming an advocate for body confidence and inner strength.”

A bunch of Kiwi influencers are involved including Silver Fern Maria Tutaia, transgender personality Mary Haddock-Staniland, body image blogger Meagan Kerr, Attitude Youth Award finalist Jess Quinn, former model and global alopecia ambassador Anna Reeve and radio host Kerre McIvor.

Women’s Health Action is a social change organization that aims at improving body image amongst young people.

Women’s Health Action director Julie Radford-Poupard says as positive activists and social change health advocates it’s delighted to see Kellogg’s shift in advertising, which now encourages women to feel good in their own skin.

“A campaign such as Special K’s ‘Own it’ can help create change on many levels as we know women absorb thousands of messages a day; most telling them they are not good enough. We hope the Special K ‘Own it’ campaign will help bring more women closer to feeling truly comfortable in their own skin, so they will be able to really reclaim joy in their lives,” she says.

While it’s great that Kellogg’s is promoting a positive body image, it is hard to forget its previous ads which often focused on weight loss and fitting into those old jeans you used to love but don’t fit anymore.

FABIK (Fucking Awesome Bulimics I Know) founder Angela Barnett says it’s good that a brand is standing up and telling this message, but is still critical of the brand.

“A couple of years ago [Special K] decided to use plus-sized models, which again, was good. But let’s not forget Special K told women for 25 years we needed to diet and showed images of scales and measuring tapes and flat tummies and super thin photoshopped models in those red swimsuits,” she says.

This shift can be seen in the Special K New Zealand ad above which has the ‘Get more delicious every day’ tagline, the current campaign’s tagline is ‘Because you’re strong’.

“Those kind of images make women feel inadequate and reinforces a desire to diet to fix those feelings. So it’s a bit rich coming from them.”

She points out that Special K used to recommend two meals a day with Special K to get the perfect figure. “Now they are saying perfectly imperfect is okay because they know that’s the current smart thing to say. Diets trigger eating disorders. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate than any other psychological disorder.”

We should stop talking about diets and trying to attain a different body through food, she says.

“That’s the real conversation. How about being okay with our bodies and not having to fix them by eating any kind of special anything.”

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