Snap, Crackle, Pop! Cereal Reminds Marketers to Think Outside the Box

You finish ironing your wrinkle-free shirt and head downstairs to the breakfast nook where sunlight filters in through the window and out to the doo-wop of blue jays and the hustle and bustle of busy squirrels. The day has begun, but your body still clings to its late-night torpor. Coffee percolates its pleasant aroma and you reach in the cupboard for a box brought to you by General Mills, Kellogg’s, Post or Quaker Oats. You pour the contents into a familiar bowl, add milk and Snap, Crackle, Pop! They’re Gr-r-reat and Magically Delicious!

The box sits opposite you with a friendly gaze of Dig’em, Toucan Sam, Tony the Tiger or “Cap’n Crunch-a-tize me” with their gentle nudge to go get ’em. The snappin’, cracklin’, poppin’ whole grain oats or rice or corn join the chorus as they’re waking up, too. The sunlight in the room is golden like Honey Smacks, Combs, Cheerios and Bunches of Oats and you reach for your phone to check your texts, emails, Instagrams, local news, scores and what other people are tweeting about the latest episode of Game of Thrones, Scandal or The Bachelorette. You finish your cereal, put the spoon and the bowl in the sink and the box back in the cupboard. You no longer see the squirrels or hear the birds. You are programmed to begin your day.

Later that week, you find yourself standing in the cereal aisle and you notice the abundance of yellow and orange colors shining down on you and think for a split second: Did I remember to put my bowl in the sink this morning?

Marketers know the genesis of all of these ideas and the deliberate decisions that culminate in those magical moments leading up to conversion. The cereal aisle reminds us with its bright colors and cartoon characters and punchy tags to go beyond the box to stir that feeling … you know, the one you had this morning when you were listening to the blue jays and your world awaken.