Your Cereal Now Comes With . . . Print

By | October 14, 2011

The Big G line of cereals from General Mills are now coming with a treat inside the box — a  DC Comic.  According to a report in the New York Times, the custom editions of DC’s Justice League can be found in cereals such as Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Golden Grahams, Honey Nut Cheerios, Lucky Charms, and Trix.

Although the treat is designed for consumers, it’s certainly one for the printer who printed it, too — all 12 million copies worth.

Although this was clearly an offset job, what’s interesting to me is how, through a huge media buy, a major consumer company like General Mills is condoning the use of print as an effective marketing medium.

It also raises the potential to use high-speed inkjet to produce personalized copies of comic books and other “in the box” prizes on demand. Imagine your child’s face (or your own) in those comics instead of Aquaman, Batman, and the Green Lantern. We’re already seeing it on the front of Wheaties boxes. Why not the comics inside?

We hear a lot of complaints about the decline of print, but we’re seeing a lot of innovative uses for it, too. Not everything has a digital replacement, and in the statement General Mills has clearly made with its own pocketbook, print still clearly carries power and influence that major marketers recognize . . . and are willing to pay for.

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2 thoughts on “Your Cereal Now Comes With . . . Print

  1. Chuck Gehman

    Heidi,

    Who was the printer? If we find out they are being printed in China, then that sort of makes DC the evil villain, doesn’t it?

    Maybe next year DC and General Foods will put Amazon Kindle Fire tablets into cereal boxes, though…

    From Publisher’s Weekly:

    In what looks like the first shots of a new tablet content war, Barnes and Noble has instructed its stores to remove the physical copies of the 100 graphic novels DC Comics plans to sell exclusively through the new Amazon Kindle Fire tablet. But an L.A. Times story on the controversy reports that the “exclusive” DC/Kindle Fire agreement was likely only a limited four month deal.

    The L.A. Times is reporting that DC’s agreement to sell 100 graphic novels “exclusively” through the Amazon kindle Fire was really limited to four months. Now it appears that DC Comics plans to “swallow” the loss of sales at B&N physical stores for the next four months before offering its graphic novels for sale through all digital sales channels.’

  2. Diane Dragoff

    This is nothing to get too excited about in the print world…

    This is only a one shot deal by “Big Food.” This doesn’t mean that print is on a come back. If they could find an economically viable (i.e., profitable)way to put an iPad in the box, they would.

    This is actually an opportunistic grab by General Mills for customers. Had the FTC ruled against them for advertising to children by putting such characters as Tony the Tiger and Toucan Sam on the boxes, GM would have had to find a way to lock in these kid-consumers. Comic books are hot now, and putting a book into the box will solidify the lock on the purchases. Just the same as putting a toy into a happy meal.

    Fortunately for GM and others like GM, the government pulled back on the cartoon on the box ban, so perhaps it was a waste to spend the money on comic books. But had the government proceeded with a ban, the comic book heroes could be put on the cereal box front,; adults read comics too!

    A story that explains the basics of the study proposal is found at: http://yourlife.usatoday.com/fitness-food/story/2011-10-13/Govt-pulls-back-on-junk-food-marketing-proposal/50752554/1

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