Sunday, December 08, 2013

Return of the Free Prizes?

Those of us who grew up in the 50's, 60's or 70's know that a fun part of breakfast cereal was the free prize inside many boxes. This was a marketing ploy that really worked, drawing in kids and sometimes adults to get a small toy, sports card, etc.

Cereal premiums still show up from time to time, but rarely. General Mills, who already is on a roll this year with some great new marketing initiatives, is offering free Stars Wars Pens in specially marked boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Reese’s Puffs, Golden Grahams, Cocoa Puffs, Trix and Lucky Charms. The eight different pens are each based around a character in the Star Wars movies, and will likely be in demand by the many movie fans and collectors out there, especially as we all anticipate the final trilogy, currently in production.

Hopefully this will see more free prizes in cereal boxes. I'm not sure why they ever went out of fashion. Perhaps it was an extra cost companies didn't want to absorb, or maybe they felt consumers were too sophisticated. But, at a time when cereal companies have to innovate to stand out this could be a winning strategy for the industry and for children building memories with little plastic toys.

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