Marketing Strategies:  Why Are Cereal Boxes Staring At Your Children!!!!

Marketing Strategies: Why Are Cereal Boxes Staring At Your Children!!!!

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marketing strategies why cereal boxes are staring at your children
Maybe you have already noticed this marketing strategy, and maybe you haven’t.  But have you ever walked down the cereal aisle and paid attention to where the cartoons are looking?  More often than not they are looking either down or to the side.  Why is this?

What are the best marketing strategies to use?

There are 3 basic strategies when it comes to marketing strategies, and if you think about your local supermarket (mine is Wegmans or Walmart) you will be able to see all three easily!

1. Service strategy.

I personally shop at Walmart because of their grocery pick-up service.  (If you’ve never tried it, get $10 off of your first purchase of $50 or more!)  One of the main reasons why I love it is because I never have to enter the store and waste my time shopping when someone else will do it for me for free!  That’s great service!

I also regularly shop at Wegmans!  The in-store service at Wegmans I have yet to see beat by any grocer competitor!  They always make sure lines are short and customers get out as soon as possible.  Any employee is readily available to help a customer.  When I worked at Wegmans as a cashier in college, they told us to always remember that the “customer is always right!”

2. Pricing strategy.

Another marketing strategy is to have items in your store that are cheaper than the competitors.  That is why Aldi is as successful as it is!  Aldi sells more off-brand items at a cheaper price.  They also don’t have the conveniences like bagged groceries, stocked shelves (instead just open boxes), and you still need that pesky quarter to get a cart.  All of those lack of conveniences are Aldi’s marketing strategy to keep costs lower and get you in the store!

3. Product strategy.

Supermarkets want to be able to market their items in a strategic way to more likely get those items in your cart.

Did anyone read the September 2014 Issue of All You Magazine  (I know this is no longer in print, but this article taught me a lot and I updated this post for now!)  and see the article on grocery store marketing strategies to “encourage” us to buy more in the store.

**One of the facts was that they have tiled floors that are more bumpy in the bakery & produce section.  That is so you don’t drive your cart as fast on that flooring, which means you’ll spend more time looking at the items to purchase!  Since those items are made in the store, they cost more.  That is their way to slow you down while you shop so that you spend more time impulse shopping.  (Wegmans for sure does this!)

**Another fact is that they put brand-name products on the middle shelves, at eye level.  Brand name items cost more – therefore we spend more in their store.

**The trivia that shocked me the most though, was that cartoons on cereal boxes generally are looking down.  They are drawn that way on purpose. The cartoons are trying to make eye contact with our kids.  If they make eye contact, then the kids will more likely want to buy that cereal!  I totally didn’t believe this and had walk down the cereal aisle and see for myself.

Well if you think about it, these sugary cereals are being marketed toward kids.  When they go shopping with mom or dad, those boxes want to make eye contact with the kids so that the kids are more likely to engage with the image on the box and will want to buy that cereal.

Here are some of the pictures I recently took:   cereal marketing strategy:  cocoa puffs staring at your children

Cocoa Puffs Bird – staring at short people – a.k.a. your kids!!!

Cereal Marketing Strategies:  wegmans organic cereal

It’s not just the “junk” cereals trying to get your kiddos attention – even this organic monkey is trying to get your kiddos attention.  The “organic” is to probably get mom or dad’s attention!  This is a genius cereal marketing strategy!

Marketing Strategies for cereal:  cocoa pebbles and fruity pebbles

Barney and Fred want to be friends with your kids too by looking at them and enticing them to buy Cocoa Pebbles or Fruity Pebbles!

cereal marketing strategies:  capn crunch cereal staring at your kids

“Buy me – buy me!”  Aye aye Cap’n!!

cereal marketing strategies frosted mini wheats

The “mini wheat cartoon” is looking down.  Why?  Because kids are short and they want to look at your kids!  When they look at your kids, your kids will say “Mooooommmmmmmm………I want Thaaaaaaaatttttt Cereal!!!!”

As a mom, can you remember a time when you threw a box of sugary cereal into the cart just to make your kids happy?  I wonder how much the cartoon had to do with it!

At Wegmans each October, there is always an end cap of sugary cereals that is branded just for Halloween.  It always catches my eye because it’s on the end cap (and end caps are used for marketing strategies!).  The “spooky” seasonal cereals on the end caps are always looking down!

cereal marketing strategies:  count chocula

Count Chocula is totally looking southwest!  Come on kids, eat me for Halloween!!!

cereal marketing strategies boo berry

Now Boo Berry is looking more at me rather than my kids.  But he’s creepy – I’m not motivated to put that box in my cart – but your kids might be!
frosted flaks and froot loops cereal marketing strategies

Both frosted flakes and froot loops are trying to get your kids to beg to put these in their cart with the help of their “Spooky” edition cartoon mascots!  That’s a genius marketing strategy right there!

I was totally mind blown when I saw this.  Who else knew that cereal companies did this???  I wonder what the specific research is on the percentage of sale increases with the direction the eyes are drawn.  Crazy things marketing companies do to get us to buy and try their products!!!

Tell me some other interesting marketing strategies you know about in the comments!  This is a very interesting topic to me!!  🙂

4 Responses to Marketing Strategies: Why Are Cereal Boxes Staring At Your Children!!!!

  1. Advertising and marketing at it’s finest! Haha! Yea I feel this way every time I shop with my kids. It even goes as far as to which aisles they put kids toys. Barbie Dolls at my grocery store right next to juice boxes…aisle I would more than likely be going down with kids. My kids cries every time for a Barbie LOL. I see this stuff a lot.

  2. Barbie Dolls next to juice boxes is just flat out mean to the parents! 🙂 Cereal box eyes are a little less noticeable. But they can’t fool us frugal shoppers!

  3. Looking closely at the cereal boxes, the cartoonish characters are looking down to the bowl of cereal. Thinking they are looking down to our to our children is a bit paranoid. Everything else stated is true, that’s how their marketing works.

  4. Google “cereal box eyes” – there are many articles about this. Yes they are looking at bowls in the pics – but they were drawn on purpose to make eye contact with short people.