“C is for Cereal” Spells S-U-C-C-E-S-S for Post!

For years, toddlers have started their mornings watching their favorite furry friends, Elmo, Cookie Monster and Big Bird on Sesame Street; now, through a partnership with Sesame Workshop, they can enjoy these trusted characters at the breakfast table. New Post Sesame Street cereal leverages graphics of familiar characters large on the face panels appealing to both moms who know and trust Sesame Street and to toddlers garnering at shelf kid request.

Sesame Faces

Toddlers who can’t yet speak, recognize the large graphic characters and point to the boxes on shelf. While a front panel nutrition claim educates mom about product health benefits, box backs educate toddlers with activities developed closely with Sesame Workshop. Each of the three skus feature two different back panel activities providing a total of six character specific educational activities on shelf at the same time.

ELMO backsCookie backsBird backs

The very name of the product, “C is for Cereal,” starts off the learning process. “As a doctor who is also a mom to two young children, I’m thrilled to find a product that is a healthy option for my kids and was created with their specific nutritional and functional needs in mind,” said Dr. Roshini Raj, consulting physician for Post Sesame Street Cereal. New Post Sesame Street Cereal is available at Walmart and grocery stores nationwide.


“It is great to see Post marketing a healthy, low sugar, whole grain cereal to kids,” said Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “We need more companies to make healthy eating fun for kids and easy for parents.”


For more licensed partnership promotions, visit KeithManzella.com

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Hungry-Man Wins the Fight For Facebook Fans!

Hungry-Man’s Facebook page was suffering a midlife crisis! Its fan base consisted mainly of 45-50 year old women, decidedly not the Hungry-Man target. To attract younger male fans, we partnered Hungry-Man with the UFC creating a sweepstakes which offered one lucky winner a VIP trip to a UFC event. To enter, fans needed to “Like” Hungry-Man’s Facebook page utilizing a sweeps app.

But how to speak to the younger male target Hungry-Man needed to connect with? The sweeps was featured in wall posts on UFC’s Facebook page tapping into their loyal fan base of over 9 million young men. The perfect target for Hungry-Man’s products. Check out the stats on the average MMA fan: http://www.mmamoz.com/mma-demographic-young-wealthy-high-tech

Additionally, banner ads promoting the sweeps appeared on the UFC’s main website directing even more fans to Hungry-Man’s Facebook page to “Like” and enter.

Upcoming UFC fights were promoted on Hungry-Man’s Facebook wall providing content that would keep the interest of the newly liked younger male target.

In-store, Hungry-Man packages featured stickers touting the sweeps and directing consumers to Hungry-Man’s Facebook page to “Like” and enter.

The result: “Likes” on Hungry-Man’s Facebook page soared during the promotional window and Facebook stats revealed the average HM Facebook demographic had switched from older women to the desirable 25-34 year old male target.

Partnering with an entertainment property who already had an audience with Hungry-Man’s desired target scored a knockout win for Pinnacle Food’s most manly brand.

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Ensuring a big on-shelf splash for Post’s Ice Age: Continental Drift Cereal.

The challenge in partnering with the fourth Ice Age sequel, Ice Age: Continental Drift, was ensuring that this Ice Age cereal tie-in would stand apart from previous incarnations offered by Post’s competitors. After meeting with the film’s directors at Blue Sky Studios, I learned that in addition to a host of new characters, what would really set this Ice Age installment apart from the others was its setting. This film is set primarily at sea with the ocean treated as a character in its own right displaying presence and personality. The idea of showcasing water as a primary character and design element on the package interested me. Early in the design process, I experimented using the ocean as a wrap around 360 graphic allowing me to “float” all of the other design elements around the package. This would playfully lead the consumer’s eye from panel to panel as they follow the floating elements taking in all visuals and information.

Adding to the package’s uniqueness, the cereal was displayed in a proprietary way which linked it to the film’s icy theme. Meeting with the directors, I learned that icebergs would feature prominently in the film. Showcasing the cereal floating by in an iceberg shaped like a breakfast bowl seemed an inspired way to garner appetite appeal and organically immerse the cereal into the world of Ice Age. To further position the cereal as special, packages were displayed in their own free standing “Limited Edition” shippers setting them apart from other cereals on shelf and immediately commanding attention.

Providing an incentive to buy as well as added value to consumers, a free Ice Age Village mobile game download with exclusive content was offered via codes printed inside boxes as well as a DVD rebate offer.

Doing some homework and meeting with the studio before starting the design process led to unique design solutions that ensured this Ice Age cereal stood apart from its predecessors and positioned it to become a pop culture collector’s item.

Partner mentions on Ice Age’s Facebook and Twitter pages helped to spread the buzz outside of Post’s normal channels about the blockbuster breakfast fun.

Check out more innovative on-shelf solutions at: www.keithmanzella.com

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Logos Made Simple!

I came across this interesting logo study presented on Graham Smith’s blog. He showed several well known logos “unevolved” into basic shapes and colors. It amazed me to see how many of the logos shown were still instantly recognizable, retaining so much of their defining equities, even boiled down to just colored circles. Like small studies in pointillism, I wondered how much more could be taken away and still leave the logos recognizable. Here’s a few examples from his blog:

Smith’s study was an experiment reflecting, albeit in the extreme, what is presently going on in logo design. Simplification.

Up until recently, the trend in logo design emphasized dimension, moving towards a 3D effect. Classic, timeless logos were being doused in shadows, bevels – anything that would make the logo appear to have dimension. This trend didn’t last long and there has been a shift back to clean forms and uncluttered branding. Take a look at the Post logo evolution below:

This shift back seems to be mirroring the decrease in the average attention span of a text-messaging, Facebooking, Twitterfied society. As over-stimulated consumers navigate an increasingly oversaturated media environment, the need for iconic branding to connect as fast as possible continues to grow. Uncluttered and timelessness are back in vogue. The consumer simply doesn’t have the time or attention span to decipher complicated logos. Bold, simple logos can cleanly cut through the noise and be remembered. The eye has become trained to ignore a complex logo as just another busy distraction.

I’ve pulled a few examples of logos that have recently undergone simplification. Some logos have beautifully even lost their words becoming purely icons:

Graphic movement toward brand-focused simplicity can cut through the clutter and resonate with the consumer. Lose any unnecessary elements from your logo design focusing on its core proprietary elements and get noticed.


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Making Honeycomb Rock with Tweens

Honeycomb’s core target is the oldest in the Post kids portfolio. Connecting in a relevant way with these brand fickle tweens is challenging to say the least. Looking to separate themselves from their younger peers, tweens value access to what’s cool. Establishing Honeycomb as a portal for access to the hottest music was a clear choice. Working with agency partner TMPG, a promotion was created tying in with the popular band, We The Kings.

Kids could use codes printed inside specially-marked boxes of Honeycomb to attend an online VIP concert at HoneycombConcert.com. The code also granted access to live chats with the band, exclusive webisodes as well as a free exclusive song track download. Kids entering an overlay sweeps could win a meet and greet with the band and autographed merchandise. The band did their part to promote the event by posting that a “big secret” was coming on their Facebook and Twitter pages. Visitors posting comments on the band’s Facebook wall had their profile icon added to a mystery mosaic. As buzz built and the concert date neared more of the mystery picture was filled in revealing the face panel of the promotional package.

Moving forward, the Honeycomb Concert template can be used to feature whatever band is in the spotlight keeping the brand relevant while providing exclusive content that meaningfully resonates with Honeycomb’s target.

Keith Manzella is a Creative Director at Eastwest Marketing Group in NYC.
For more, visit EastwestMG.com or KeithManzella.com

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The WWE Feud That Made Pebbles a Sales Superstar!

I never thought that a WWE Superstar feud could help to sell Fruity Pebbles, but it did just that. When Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson compared fellow WWE Superstar John Cena’s brightly colored wardrobe to a bowl of Fruity Pebbles, the feud was on.  You can see a bit of that exchange here:

The “insult” became an ongoing joke, spurring on-air comedy bits by The Rock, chants of “Fruity Pebbles” at WWE matches and a Twitter topic trend. Turning a negative into a positive, Cena embraced the nickname, eating the cereal on camera and declaring himself “Yabba, dabba delicious” during an interview.

Making this work for Post, an instant win promotion starring Cena was quickly created to leverage this pop culture event while it was still hot.

Winners receive a VIP Cena meet-and-greet, premium seating at a WWE event, plus autographed Cena gear. Consumers can enter online via codes found inside specially-marked packages of Family Size Fruity Pebbles. “It’s great when you can take a negative like the Rock’s comments and turn it into a chance to be on a box of cereal,” Cena stated. Boxes also include “Make-a-Wish” Foundation information as Cena has granted over 250 wishes for the organization.

See the whole Pebbles Cena story here:

See more exciting CPG promotions at KeithManzella.com

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Tune in and Turn On Creative Directors!

As a Creative Director, do I really need to know technology? Isn’t it my job to think up the very coolest of ideas and leave the egghead tech stuff to the coders?


*BUT without some basic knowledge of digital technology, social media, augmented reality, location based apps, HTML5, etc., you just won’t be able to think up the very coolest of ideas.

As a creative I draw on all of my experiences, past and present, to inspire me to come up with the really cool ideas. How can I be inspired by, and push the boundaries of, things that I don’t even know exist?

A simple example of how tech knowledge inspired creative execution is demonstrated in this clever anti-fur ad within a digital magazine. A fake ad for a fur coat appeared in the digital magazine. As the reader swiped his or her finger across the ad to turn the digital page, a smear of blood appeared across the fur. After a few swipes the real anti-fur ad revealed itself. Do you think the Creative Director could have come up with this concept if he didn’t know how readers swipe a page in a digital magazine? Knowledge of how users interfaced with the iPad magazine app enabled the CD to exploit that behavior, turning it on its head.

Now don’t run out and sign up for coding classes, that’s not what I’m suggesting. It’s not about knowing exactly how to build something but about knowing how something works and what’s achievable. That knowledge will yield the coolest ideas.

I recently worked on an Augmented Reality promotion for a client. Without a working knowledge of AR and what was possible, there’s no way I could have designed a promotion fully leveraging all that AR could do. I had to first know the boundaries in order to push them.

Also, I made sure not to think in a vacuum. During the earliest stages of the project I brainstormed with our digital partners in the promotion. Collaboration with those in the know was key.

The Idea to Adopt: When thinking digital, a little knowledge is a wonderful thing.

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