Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Finding the Cap'n

Last month I reported on an attempt by independent fans to bring Cap'n Crunch to social networks such as Twitter. Typically, many grassroots movements like this die after their initial burst of enthusiasm. But, Where's the Cap'n is growing with a concerted push by its creators, especially in recent days. Their goal of reaching 1000 followers on Twitter is being encouraged with the giving away of a FlipHD Cam once they reach the magic number, and every multiple thereafter.

This is getting serious. All from two guys, Michael Gutweiler and Corey Smale, who started this campaign because of their passion for Cap'n Crunch cereal and discovered that Quaker had no social networking presence for their hero. Gutweiler and Smale run "the Giant Steps", a Chicago-based marketing agency, and decided to start it themselves. They told me they are "having fun with it right now", but it certainly has the potential to bring greater exposure to their own business. But, they seem content to allow Quaker to respond by giving the Cap'n his own long overdue "official", online presence. But, so far the company has stated that they have no plans to do so, even though the Giant Steps has offered their help.

This is an interesting story as it shows the loyalty and passion that many consumers have for their favorite brands. Quaker is missing an incredible opportunity to capitalize on the love of Cap'n Crunch by a significant number of people. Will Quaker respond, or will they just let this party go on by itself? And, will other companies see the possibilities they might have to strengthen relationships through their brands? Some candidates could include Post with Fruity Pebbles; General Mills with Lucky, Trix, or the three monsters; and Kellogg with Tony.

This will be fun to watch!

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finky the kid said...

Did you see the recent story about Pepsico/Quaker retiring the Cap'n? This could have somethign to do with why the grassroots campaign isn't "taking root." http://lifeinc.today.com/_news/2011/03/09/6228655-capn-crunch-sails-into-obscurity?GT1=43001

Lloyd said...

Yes, I saw that. I'm not entirely convinced they're retiring him (as they have done some special things with them recently including special edition cereals and nostalgic boxes), but without question marketing of the Cap'n has slipped. But, it could be that Quaker doesn't know what to do with him? But, as long as Cap'n Crunch sells I can't see them stopping production and sale.