Sunday, November 26, 2006

Freebies: Reinventing the cereal box?

One of the most fascinating aspects of cereal is its marketing through the use of creative packaging and promotions. Looking back to the 50's and 60's one sees this trend developing, with many fun cereals, boxes, and free premiums inside. Certainly, the marketing of cereal is as prominent as ever, but the simple fun of the past has been largely overtaken by more slick efforts.

That may be about to change with Freebies, a proposed cereal by Bob Staake, a nationally-known illustrator who has experience in this field, having once done design work for Ralston Purina cereals. Staake has created a six zany characters and a fun cereal box design, with the proposal of also including free toys in the box. According to his website:

"FREEBIES is a cereal that recognizes that today's kids and parents are smart -- and will respond to a healty product that entertains and teaches something of value in a small, yet goofy and entertaining, way. ... "What I wanted to do with FREEBIES", said Staake, "was create a positive character-driven storyline that could break through the clutter of marketing-oriented product in the supermarket cereal aisle. Kids don't want to be sold DVDs and ocean cruises that are routinely advertised on the back of today's cereal boxes.
They want to sit there and become engaged in a fun and playful world while they eat a breakfast cereal that their parents can feel good about. To me, FREEBIES is about returning some innocence into the first meal of the day for a child-- and maybe giving them a giggle before they go off to school."

Staake's hope is that his design and accompanying website will catch the attention of major cereal manufacturers who are looking for a way to be more responsive to what consumers are actually looking for.

If he is successful at selling his idea it might see the start of a new era in cereal boxes.

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