Special K moves away from ‘perfect size 10 girls’ in £15m brand overhaul

Special K is investing £15m in a brand overhaul that will star its first celebrity brand ambassador in Strictly Come Dancing’s Tess Daly in an effort to move away from ‘diet’ messaging and instead reflect the importance of nutrition to consumers.

Daly will replace the brunettes in red swimsuits who have traditionally featured in Special K’s campaigns across in-store, OOH, cinema, radio and print activity throughout July.

Ruth Gresty, marketing manager for Kellogg’s in the UK, told Marketing Week: “In the past we’ve had our Special K girls, brunettes who were a perfect size 10, who were always quite smug and pleased with themselves in a red swimsuit or red dress.

“We wanted to step away from that and bring in a real personality to marry with the brand.”

She added that Daly has a “full-packed life” as a mum and wife with a career.

“She’s not a 25-year-old who finds things easy. We wanted people to relate to her,” she added.

As part of the overhaul, Daly will release her own Special K cereal recipe – Special K flakes with red apple, almond and vanilla – which includes the brand’s newly created ‘Nutri K’ flake, featuring nine vitamins and minerals and lower sugar content.

The brand is also launching three new products – a protein crunch to reflect the trend for women to look for more protein for sustenance, as well as new granola products and a “super porridge”.

The move follows the “Live in Colour” campaign launched in January, which focused on the variety and choice of the Special K range rather than “diet and deprivation”.

Throughout the year the brand is investing £15m in ATL activity and a further £2m in in-store, according to Gresty.

“Special K historically was around weight loss and has evolved from that,” Gresty said. “The latest campaign is to shout to everybody that we’re a great nutritious brand full of flavours and variety.

“It’s not about diet and restriction,” she added. “It’s about eating healthy for a healthy shape.”



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  1. jhibble 20 Jul 2015

    Interesting that Ruth Gresty would go as far as calling their general brand models ‘smug’. After seeing many headlines about a brand overhaul, I have to say I’m surprised to see this just means a new – famous – face.

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