Anyone who knows me knows that if I were a stick of rock I’d have the word ‘Kellogg’s’ printed through me. I also have the dubious distinction of being the last Promotions Manager at said company who ran a promotion with a licence on it (Shrek in case you’re wondering), at least that was the case. I was there when there was nothing but fun in the box – Jimmy Neutron was sweeping all before it (who?!) and you couldn’t move down the cereal aisle for the amount of film and TV property jumping off every pack.
Then – it all stopped – suddenly we weren’t allowed to delve into the new packets anymore to grab a Bi-carbonate of Soda powered submarine (one for the kids, that one), ignoring (and possibly binning) the cereal in an attempt to the get to the toy. These were simple pre-Xbox times my friends.
But almost overnight a walk down the cereal aisle became like a step back in time. Fun? We suddenly weren’t allowed that; just good healthy living – suddenly if we even looked at a packet of Frosties all our teeth would drop out and we’d gain 2 stone. Utter nonsense of course but don’t get me started on that ….
I think the question I’ve been asked most whether I was working, consulting or vaguely associated with Kellogg’s was ‘How do I get my brand onto their packs?’ I wont go into all the reasons why the answer to that question was never straightforward, and why the chances were always negligible. However I will say that I believe the demise of the breakfast cereal promotion did have a profound effect on the attitude of promoters in general. Cereal promotions were always high profile and a benchmark in what could be achieved using a brand and a licence. Other potential promoters watched, or at least noticed them and they gave ideas to the manufacturers of other products to what they could do with a licence.
When these licensed promotions disappeared, the ground on which this activity took place became a relatively barren place – the mantel was never really picked up by anyone.
However a new hope has appeared and co-incidentally it’s Star Wars providing it! Kellogg’s and Weetabix are both venturing in to the wonderful world of licensing again. Weetabix have launched a partnership with Cartoon Network (albeit focused on encouraging healthy eating – smart move that!) http://www.thegrocer.co.uk/buying-and-supplying/marketing/weetabixs-weetabuddies-in-cartoon-network-partnership/529792.article , and the Manchester cereal giant have come out of the blocks with all guns blazing – Frozen and Star Wars cereals and what’s more, a free band on gift in the form of a light sabre spoon !
It’s great to see this kind of activity potentially making a comeback, not only does it bring life and a bit of fun to the category, it also potentially raises the profile of the potential for licence promotions for everyone – there has clearly been an awakening in the force …….