Goodbye Cereal-Box Toy Surprise, Hello Digital Treat?
Can’t wait to rip open that box of cereal to pull out some surprise little toy? How old are you? Like, 100? The Cheerios of the near future may very well offer virtual treats, USA Today reports, and kids will be able to unlock them with their smartphones.
Yep, even your morning breakfast food is going high tech.
According to the newspaper, Mark Addicks, chief marketing officer for General Mills—the maker of Cheerios and tons of other popular food brands—has plans for new digital packaging to launch as early as summer.
“There’s never been a time like this,” he tells USA Today. “Because of the digital technology that resides in people’s hands … we can now deliver content that engages and enhances the experience. Before, we had to rely on a 30-second TV ad.”
The idea, Addicks tells the newspaper, is that kids could aim their phones at a quick response code (you, know, those squiggly square codes you see all over the place) at their box of Lucky Charms, Trix, Wheaties or other cereal, to see a “visual surprise.”
“You point to a logo and things start to appear,” he tells USA Today. “Maybe some functional content will pop up on a cake-mix box, or you might see entertainment and games coming from a cereal box. What I’m hoping for is pure entertainment.”
And, if Addicks’s assertion to the newspaper that the average person reads a cereal box 12 times is true, there’s certainly room to make an impact through apps, videos, and games.
We get the need to move forward with the times, and, sure, it’s probably a job requirement to add all sorts of gizmos to cereal that will grab a kid’s attention—and her mother’s money. Just, please, please, don’t go replacing our favorite leprechaun, that silly rabbit, or our favorite sports heroes with creepy avatars and annoying commercial-laden video spots. Those cereals may, in theory, be aimed at our tech-savvy kids, but, pssst, Moms love it—as well as a good ol’-fashioned walk down memory lane. And guess who’s buying?
How about a really cool (non-virtual) surprise for your family? Make them a breakfast they’ve never had before, with these breakfast and brunch recipes.