I sat down to breakfast this morning and poured myself a nice healthy bowl of Apple Jacks, which for those of your unfamiliar is a cereal that really doesn’t taste much like Apples. I looked at the box and apparently the newest version of Apple Jacks is “Apple Jacks Gliders.” Let me explain what’s going on here.
For a while, Apple Jacks were just a Pink Cheerios looking cereal but much sweeter with a catchy name. Then they added Green Cheerios looking cereal to the mix, resulting in a mix of pink and green O’s that taste almost nothing like Apple, which they even commented on during a period of time in their commercials. Some of you may remember “but if they don’t taste like Apple’s why do you like em” said by the mom or teacher or crossing guard. ”We just do!” replies the group of bright-eyed and bushy tails youths. Now Apple Jacks have an animated Apple and Cinnamon stick on the box. They are the “spokes-food-people” for Apple Jacks. They are the Snap, Crackle and Pop for this particular cereal. All cereals seem to have one. Trix has the rabbit, who can’t ever have the cereal. Cinnamon toast crunch has Wendel…I think he off’d the other two creators of the cereal, now it’s just him. Captain Crunch, Frosted Flakes…you all get it. Well this animated duo, the apple and cinnamon stick, whose names I don’t care enough to google, are now HANG GLIDING. The newest version of Apple Jacks is called Apple Jacks Gliders. They’ve added blue triangles to the mix. So now we’ve got pink and green O’s and blue triangles.
So this got me thinking about Marketing during my breakfast. I remember that cereal and movies were like the BIG things when I was a kid. Whatever toy came in a cereal box…I had to have it. If they released a new marshmallow in Lucky Charms, guess whose mom wasn’t gonna be left alone until I could taste the NEW red balloons? How easy is it to market cereal or even better how great would it be if you could just market your business like a new version of a cereal. It doesn’t even have to make sense and it sells. Kids are out there RIGHT NOW going totally bananas for Apple Jacks Gliders. They have to have them. Guaranteed, when that Apple and Cinnamon stick go hang gliding in the commercial, some kid is flipping his wig.
Imagine if GM could “cereal market” their way out of their problems. Nothing would even have to make sense.
- include a free prize
- do some crazy promotion using a cartoon spokesperson doing wacky things
- release a NEW promotional version, basically no different than the original except with an added bell or whistle in CRAZY TANGY FLAVORS!
All new cars and trucks could have a special prize in the trunk, like a plastic skateboard. Maybe they could offer a limited-time promotion for an SUV that comes with a limited-edition cup holder in sunfire orange. Their spokesperson could be “Truckie” the lovable cartoon pick up who just like to chillax and go base jumping while chillin’ with his people friends.
As I sit now at my desk, in my cube at work I wonder if it’s possible to harness the power of cereal marketing?
Also published on Medium.