In 2008, Kraft Foods tasked an advertising firm with helping them boost sales of Shreddies, a popular breakfast cereal first introduced in 1939.

During a brainstorming session, an intern quipped that if you rotated the whole grain squares 45°, they became diamond-shaped.

The idea took off, and thus, Diamond Shreddies were born:

Packaging for Diamond Shreddies

The resulting tongue-in-cheek, award-winning campaign led to an 18% increase in market share, all thanks to a joke. And to stretch it as far as they could, the company even offered combo packages of both squares and diamonds!

The Shreddies story provides a wealth of insight:

  1. Changing people's perspective can be really powerful.
    Turning what you make at an angle might make all the difference.
  2. Good ideas can come from anywhere.
    Successful companies listen to everyone — even interns — since you never know where the next brilliant suggestion might come from.
  3. Play is important in the creative process.
    Without an atmosphere that allowed for joking around, Shreddies would have been forever square-shaped.

Diamond Shreddies

In 2008, a joke made by an intern at Shreddies' ad agency led to a huge increase in sales.