The marketer described the company's findings as "obviously very encouraging," and predicted they would help "drive stronger adoption across the business."
Kellogg crossed the $1 billion benchmark on ad spending during 2007, and its outlay is set to increase this year. Mr. Baynes said his company spends an additional $300 million on promotional marketing.
"For the right opportunity, the [online] space offers fresh ways to commercialize new and existing brands, target specific audiences on needs more cost effectively," he said.
Over the past year, Kellogg has been praised for sticking with its advertising spending despite the recession. The company has credited its brand-building efforts with its ability pass some of the heavy commodity-cost increases onto the consumer.
Mr. Baynes did not specify how Kellogg was measuring success of the campaigns, and the company did not immediately return calls for additional comment. While he did not address specifics of the Special K work, the company has repeatedly touted the success of its "Special K challenge," which calls for two bowls of the cereal every day for two weeks. Dieters replace a more traditional lunch or dinner with cereal, and are told they can expect to drop a full clothing size after two weeks.
CEO David Mackay has said the initiative has not only resonated with consumers, but also boosted cereal consumption outside of breakfast.
A Special K website offers customized plans for consumers, sign-ups for a Yahoo e-mail group, tips from a trainer and nutritionist and a point-of-purchase link to Amazon.com. The company has added a number of products to the Special K platform in recent years, including cereal bars, flavored waters and waffles.
The investment may continue to pay off, given the economic environment. UBS analyst David Palmer said he anticipates cereal consumption to grow during the fourth quarter, not only because of food costs, but higher rates of unemployment. More people will be eating breakfast at home because they don't have anywhere else to go, he said.