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General Mills hopes comic books will invigorate cereal

By Kacey Culliney+

07-Mar-2014

'The love for comic books, very much like cereal, is not going away, and does influence decisions in the cereal aisle,' says General Mills marketing communications manager
'The love for comic books, very much like cereal, is not going away, and does influence decisions in the cereal aisle,' says General Mills marketing communications manager

General Mills hopes to influence purchase decisions in the cereal aisle with a limited edition comic book series across selected Big G brands.

The cereal major has partnered with Warner Bros and DC Entertainment to launch limited edition cereals across the US that contain exclusively developed Justice League comic books. The promotion runs across a handful of its Big G brands, including Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Honey Nut Cheerios. A fifth comic book has been developed for its Cheerios brand and will be exclusively available in the retail chain Target.

General Mills launched a similar promotion back in 2011 that it said had received a “positive reception”.

Speaking to BakeryandSnacks.com, Lisa Tomassen, integrated marketing communications manager for General Mills, said the move should create excitement among consumers and boost business.

“The love for comic books, very much like cereal, is not going away, and does influence decisions in the cereal aisle.”

She said there was a shared fanaticism among cereal consumers and comic book fans, which was why the promotion made sense.

Tomassen said the promotion was in line with Big G’s strategy to bring value and fun to breakfast cereal.

In November last year, General Mills launched limited edition Star Wars cereal packs across select Big G brands and in October it launched its ‘Hello, Cereal Lovers’ campaign which saw celebrity chefs create unusual dinner and drink recipes using some of its branded cereals. On both occasions, General Mills said the aim was to liven up breakfast cereal – a food it considered “part of American pop culture”.

Super heroes to the rescue?

Discussing the comic book series, Tomassen said General Mills was targeting parents and comic book lovers.

“The joy of finding a toy inside of your cereal box is a timeless one. It strikes a chord with adults who grew up with toys in cereal boxes and reading comic books, and also with families who share a love for Justice League super heroes like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman,” she said.

General Mills has invested efforts in engagement with adults for some time. Last year, company CFO Don Mulligan said there was a lot of opportunity to promote kids’ cereal brands to adult consumers , stating that 40% of Lucky Charms consumers were adults.

The cereal major launched a digital campaign just one month later aligning its Lucky Charms brand with Pride month to better engage with its younger adult audience.

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