All of a sudden double-decker buses around London were plastered with ads claiming that “A new breed of cereal is unleashed.”

Usually, only bad things get ‘unleashed’, so it seemed an odd verb choice to announce a cereal launch. Until I learned that there was method to the madness.

According to business communications magazine Campaign, “Krave is the first cereal launched by Kellogg in the UK that specifically targets the young adult market.”

Specifically, the coveted 16-25 year-old demographic – a group too old to be thrilled by the exploits of Tony the Tiger, and too young to be attracted by promises of cereal that enables regular bowel movements.

Hence the ‘edgy’ language, and hypnotizing graphic on the box. The launch is also the first time that Kellogg’s has concentrated marketing efforts on social media; the digital campaign being undertaken by London communications agency CMW is worth a reported £4m.

The ‘ongoing digital strategy’ is centred on the Krave microsite, home of the ‘choc exchange’. This is a digital marketplace where people bid on “gig tickets, games, gadgets, and other amazing prizes.” As the name suggests, the bidders don’t use money, they use ‘choc chunks’ which are collected by participating in the Krave hype. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of hype.

A visit to the Krave auction house reveals that the current auction item has had exactly four bids. So… not exactly sweeping the nation then. In fact, all auctions close on the 17th of May, less than two months after the choc exchange launched.

Repeated efforts to speak with Matt Smith, the campaign’s Creative Director at CMW, yielded no response. Frankly, I don’t blame him; if this campaign was my fault, I’d also be keeping a low profile.

On a more upbeat note the Krave Facebook group has more than 60,000 fans. You might find yourself thinking, “That’s a pretty big number. Well done CMW and Kellogg’s!” But when you put this achievement into perspective, it becomes less impressive.

For example, the group: “Can This Sausage Roll Get More Fans than Cheryl Cole?” has over 1.1 million fans – with only a couple weeks headstart.

Read the rest of this article at Independent Minds.