Olympic Stories, Brought to you by Kellogg's


Growing up, Summer Sanders remembers her dad was too cheap to turn on the air conditioning, which meant staying cool required a dip in the backyard pool. And so began the Olympian’s early devotion to swimming.

Sanders explains this anecdote in a short video profile featured as part of an Olympic-themed online marketing campaign sponsored by Kellogg’s.

Titled “Start Stories,” the portal includes heart-warming vignettes of eight athletes explaining the formative years that helped pave their road toward Olympic glory.

Beach volleyball phenom Kerri Walsh claims she dreamed of being the first female pitcher in the major leagues.

The mother of soccer player Juan Agudelo describes how crushed she was when the first word out of her son’s mouth was “goooaaal” instead of “mom.”

Long jumper Dwight Phillips explains how he thinks the best thing that ever happened to him was when he was cut from the tennis team.

These three-minute videos leverage the power of story to touch, inspire and draw us in. We may be familiar with the triumphs of these revered athletes; now we’re given the opportunity to learn more about them as people – their families, their foibles, their morning routines.

Yes, each video ends with a contrived scene extolling the virtues of Kellogg's cereal, but the preceding stories are so compelling that they make the obligatory product placements palatable. I truly want to believe that Casey Tibbs’ son eats a big bowl of Frosted Flakes every morning.

Also featured on the online portal are details about each athlete’s achievements, breakfast preferences, and an invitation to send them an online greeting. And the campaign’s tagline – From Great Starts Come Great Things – fittingly supports the notion of starting your day with a breakfast courtesy of Kellogg’s.

While scores of corporations scream for attention leading up to the London 2012 Olympics, Kellogg’s has served up a truly memorable treat.

Which just so happens to remind me of my own primitive love of crunchy cereal.  In case you’re wondering, I’m a Raisin Bran man.