25 or 6 to 4

does anybody really know what time it is? does anybody really care?

today, I'd like to discuss what the hell is going on with pops. I am an avid cereal eater, and I have started buying boxes for work and eating that instead of a bagel or toast or whatever. anyways, so my m.o. with eating cereal is that I can't eat too much of any one cereal or I get bored, so I never buy the same kind in back to back purchases, or even in the same month if I can help it. having gone through cocoa pebbles, vanilla creme (how I hate that spelling) mini wheats, froot loops, golden grahams, frosted chex, chocolate lucky charms, and cracklin oat bran, I was looking for the next logical cereal step. I was at target buying flat fruit and I noticed a span of yellow pops boxes. I had already put a box of cocoa puffs in my cart, but I like to have choices in the morning, so I figured I'd pick up a box of pops, too. so I go to pick one out, and there are 3 different boxes. one was the old fashioned (aka, circa 2005) yellow box, and 2 were these pops-wallpapered monstrosities with POPS emblazoned on them in different typefaces. wtf is this?

naturally, the box selection, if there is more than one style of box, comes down to which one has the better games/prize/offer. but now with these pops boxes, there's also a question of typeface. so I chose the 80s looking one with the ice age 2 prize. (meanwhile, it says "FREE FLYER by mail" - which, I know they mean frisbee, but to say it like that, it sounds so fucking cheap. a flyer? aka a scaled down poster? what kind of prize is that? and by mail no less.) anyways, so I get the box to work and open it, and notice on the side of the box, it says:

to the bold, new look of
Kellogg's POPS.
3 unique boxes that
reflect YOUR bold,
individual style &
attitude. We are PROUD
of our look, but more
we are proud of our....
"Big Yellow Taste"

followed by pictures of 4 boxes (one is coming soon - I cannot wait) of pops. the first one looks sort of early 90s red typeface, and it is captioned "gaming". the second is a little more jazzy, with arrow heads on the loopy part of the P's, and I suppose looks sort of like graffiti. it is captioned "hip hop". the third, which is the one I actually have, is 80s-inspired early pong-graphic-y letters, and is inexplicably called "snow". the fourth, which I mentioned is coming soon, (one has to wonder exactly what the hold up was with this one - maybe the others were just so good they wanted to get them out there as quickly as possible) is more of an angular graffiti-like font and is called "skate". you can see them all on the kellogg's website here. you'll have to click on each category, though, to see the changed font.

the short version of my question is WHY? the longer version is much more complicated. sugared cereal is usually marketed to kids under 14, though lately, some general mills branded sugared cereals, like cinnamon toast crunch, are trying to capitalize on the largely underrepresented segment of adult consumers. (there are lots of us sugared cereal eaters that are over 14.) no one has really been marketing to teens - not really, anyways. you see some teens in commercials for cereal, but I think that's more of a "eat this cereal, just like this older cool kid that you want to be like" kind of thing. it's not really targeted to teens. but hip hop, gaming, and skate clearly are. I have no idea about snow - maybe they are also trying to access the untapped teen cocaine user market, or maybe canadians. weird, but whatever, I have to guess that they did market research and this is what it told them to do: market to teen boys.

but then simultaneously, the language they're using here - "bold", "style", "attitude" - while clearly not for the under 14 set, isn't really for the teen set either. it's kind of for the adults. and it seems so desperate. "we are PROUD of our look." it's like they got the focus group results back and found out everyone thinks the new boxes are stupid but they are so in love with their great branding idea that they do it anyway and now feel they have to justify it. let's not even get into what "big yellow taste" means, because that's even beyond this crazy targetting thing they have going on.

layer that on top of the aforementioned ice age 2 "free flyer" (by mail) - a KIDS movie - and it's like...dude. you're just cereal. no one expects you to be all things to all ages, especially just on your box. pick a demo and run with it. I loved you back when you told me, with a burst of pops from the O, that I gotta get....pops. I know times change, but this is ridiculous. and fucking with the logo of a brand, especially in 4 iterations (and even moreso when fucking with it in 4 iterations isn't part of a stupid contest) is like cereal shark-jumping. I hate it.

that aside, and that's alot to put aside...who the HELL did they use to write that copy? first, they want me to believe that my choice of cereal is an extension of who I am. okay, that's what they do, assign some sort of grandiose meaning to what I decide to stick in my shopping cart. but to further assess my choice in box as a unique way to reflect my bold, individual style? and my attitude? and then to actually write that out and print it on the box? when all I fucking want is to eat my cereal and maybe do a fun maze??

christ, these pops. anyways, they were good.

have a great weekend. nicole and mark and noah return tonight!

11 validations:

rob said...

first, they want me to believe that my choice of cereal is an extension of who I am.

I love it when my breakfast cereal gets all existential on me.

"I am corn chex. As you are connected to everything in the universe, you are connected to me. I, the corn chex, mean nothing. Your connection to me is everything. Because you are connected to me, the corn chex, which mean nothing, you are, through that connection, nothing.

Eat me."

Jen O. said...

Looks to me like they're marketing more to Tweens than to Teens. A minor age gap, but a million miles away on their "that's kinda cool" scales.

I can just imagine what the advertising pitch was like for this new campaign. And it ain't pretty. "We'll do focus groups! We'll brand you in a whole new light! We'll integrate! We'll product-place! We'll create a sticky website!"

Somebody at Kellogg's got snowed. Hey, maybe that's where the "snow" thing comes from?

~A~ said...

Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh the rants I could rant about marketing.

But nooooooooo, let's look at what you put in your body....

Milled corn, sugar, corn syrup, molasses, salt, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (one or more of: coconut, cottonseed, and soybean)***, sodium ascorbate and ascorbic acid (vitamin C), niacinamide, reduced iron, zinc oxide, wheat starch, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin (vitamin B2), thiamin hydrochloride (vitamin B1), annatto color, vitamin A palmitate, BHT (preservative), folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin D.

*ahem* do I need to say more? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?

rob said...

Jeez, sis. Stop harshin' the cereal sister's mellow.

You've eaten banana rat, for the love of God!

~A~ said...

Yeah, but that banana rat didn't contain any corn syrup. And it was good. *slurp*

So naaaaaaah nah nah nah nah bro.

rob said...

Don't make it any less gross...RAT BREATH!


~A~ said...

Take that back or I'm grabbing the glitter.

You know it comes in glue form now that can be shot long distances.

the beige one said...

what's with the Chicago stuff?

Missuz J said...

Pops? Is that the cereal formerly known as Corn Pops? If I remember correctly, they have the texture of packing peanuts--yes?

the beige one said...

packing peanuts with sugar

lonna said...

We're all about the Reese's Puffs at our house. Yum. Peanut butter, chocolate, and a shitload of sugar! If I want cereal, I want crappy, sugary, kids' cereal.

I remember when Pops were Corn Pops too. They were kind of lame when I was kid. I guess that they've changed their marketing so much on this product that some people don't even recognize it any more. Whatever happened to retro?