Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Cap'n Crunch is staring at your kid for a reason

Posted by on Apr. 6, 2014 at 6:18 PM
  • 19 Replies

Cap'n Crunch is staring at your kid for a reason

Cornell researchers studying "cereal box psychology" say the tempting gazes of all those sugar-hawking characters are carefully angled right at your tykes.

eyesintheaisles-environment-behavior-2014-cartoon.jpg
Hmm, do I see a new customer down there? Musicus, Tal & Wansink, Cornell
It's no secret that manufacturers place products at supermarket heights intended to appeal to their target market. That's why the fun sugary cereals are on lower shelves and the boring fiber-rich stuff is placed up high. But now, in a new twist, Cornell researchers have found that the cartoon-ey characters on those cereal boxes who make "eye contact" with their intended audience could create stronger brand loyalty.

To arrive at their findings, Cornell Food and Brand Lab Researchers Aner Tal and Brian Wansink, in collaboration with research assistant Aviva Musicus from the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, evaluated 65 types of cereal and 86 different characters in 10 grocery stores in New York and Connecticut.

Of course, they found the correlation between cereal type and shelf-placement height -- the average height for children's cereal boxes was found to be 23 inches from the ground, while it was 48 inches for adult cereals.

But they also discovered that characters on adult cereals tend to look straight ahead to meet the gaze of their intended victims -- um, I mean potential purchasers -- while those on kid cereals looked down at an average angle of 9.67 degrees, meaning Cap'n Crunch is forever scanning the lower level of the market for new recruits.

In measuring the gazes, the researchers used a distance of 4 feet from the shelves, which they say is the standard distance from which we evaluate products.

Next, Wansink and team attempted to find out if eye contact made any difference in shoppers' feelings about brands.

By showing two different Trix cereal box covers to a group of 63 university students -- one in which the rabbit made eye contact and one in which it didn't -- they discovered "that brand trust was 16 percent higher and the feeling of connection to the brand was 10 percent higher when the rabbit made eye contact," according to a statement about the work.

The takeaway, according to the researchers? "If you are a cereal company looking to market healthy cereals to kids, use spokes-characters that make eye contact with children to create brand loyalty," Wansink said. "If you are a parent who does not want your kids to go 'cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs,' avoid taking them down the cereal aisle," he added, sounding more dad-like than ever.

Awwww... the cereal aisle was my favorite place in the supermarket when I was a kid, and I'd have hated it if we'd had to skip it. I'm sure glad these meddlesome Cornell guys waited to do this research till I was all grown up.


by on Apr. 6, 2014 at 6:18 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
Donna6503
by Platinum Member on Apr. 6, 2014 at 6:26 PM
1 mom liked this
Oh, I thought this was going to be a post about how Cap'n Crunch has been convicted of child molestation.

Guess he going to be boxed in the Big House.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Apr. 6, 2014 at 6:30 PM
1 mom liked this

This is done with many, many items in every store.

Nothing new, this strategy has been used for many years.

tanyainmizzou
by on Apr. 6, 2014 at 6:43 PM

My son used his own money to buy Crunch Berries.


I told him I would buy Apple Jacks because I love them.    But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.


He had to have Crunch Berries.

meriana
by Platinum Member on Apr. 6, 2014 at 7:37 PM
1 mom liked this

That's nothing new. Of course they're going to postion the picture of a cartoon character so the kids notice them more. My kids were a bit weird though, they prefered cheerios, shredded wheat, oat meal and plain old corn flakes with an occassional box of wheaties thrown in.

dawnie1
by #1 Raider fan on Apr. 7, 2014 at 9:57 AM

My weirdos only eat Rice Crispys. Right out of the dang box sometimes! 

fullxbusymom
by Bronze Member on Apr. 7, 2014 at 10:03 AM
1 mom liked this

Well it doesn't work in our home we only buy healthy cerals and generic so guess it didn't work for my kids. *shrugs*

can_can21
by on Apr. 7, 2014 at 12:41 PM

I am so sick of parents blaming companies for marketing products to their children. YOU as a parent have the right to say yes or not to any product. Cap'n Crunch isn't going to force itself into your child's diet. YOU can decide to buy it or not. Don't blame the product, blame the parent.

paganbaby
by Teflon Don on Apr. 7, 2014 at 1:09 PM


Quoting tanyainmizzou:

My son used his own money to buy Crunch Berries.


I told him I would buy Apple Jacks because I love them.    But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.


He had to have Crunch Berries.

Has he tried Opps! All Berries? I LOVE that cereal,lol.



I will not have a temper tantrum nor stomp across the floor.


I will not pout, scream or shout or kick against the door.

I will not throw my food around nor pick upon another.

I’ll always try to be real good because I am the mother.

I am the mother.

I am the mother.














Woodbabe
by Woodie on Apr. 7, 2014 at 1:29 PM
For parents with an obsession with keeping their kids happy the advertising dollars are well spent!

Quoting can_can21:

I am so sick of parents blaming companies for marketing products to their children. YOU as a parent have the right to say yes or not to any product. Cap'n Crunch isn't going to force itself into your child's diet. YOU can decide to buy it or not. Don't blame the product, blame the parent.

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
autodidact
by Platinum Member on Apr. 7, 2014 at 1:34 PM
1 mom liked this

we have every right to blame the companies for these tactics. I don't buy this shit, but I don't like appreciate their manipulations, either. 

Quoting can_can21:

I am so sick of parents blaming companies for marketing products to their children. YOU as a parent have the right to say yes or not to any product. Cap'n Crunch isn't going to force itself into your child's diet. YOU can decide to buy it or not. Don't blame the product, blame the parent.


Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN