Kix Cereal Appeals to Moms with Online Stories, Punky Brewster

Consumer Goods

As breakfast cereal consumption is reportedly on the decline in the U.S., one brand is hoping to appeal to kids with online storybooks and new boxes that can be used to create related characters. And, as some cereal brands lean on nostalgia to reignite their fan bases, the brand in question, Kix, has also teamed up with a child star from the 1980s to perhaps also appeal to moms who grew up watching "Punky Brewster".

Cereal brand Kix has launched new cereal boxes with related online story content and, as a result, it says it has teamed up with “Punky Brewster” actress Soleil Moon Frye to “help parents inspire learning, imagination and breakfast-time fun.”

But, with reports emerging that America’s love affair with breakfast cereal may be over as consumption declines, this content marketing effort from Kix may also be to convince parents to reconsider an old staple.

In a press release, Kix says it wants “to offer families today even more reasons to enjoy this wholesome product from the inside out.” As a result, Kix says its new boxes “feature unique pop-out characters designed to be used with Kix Adventures online storybooks to bring parent and child together through creative play.”

By punching out perforated shapes from the boxes, Kix says kids can assemble characters and objects. According to the brand’s website, kids can make anything out of these pieces. Kix also encourages parents to “gather the family and check out the following how-tos and amazing creations to start building together,” on its website.

The brand says parents will find nine Kix Adventure stories here, including three written by Frye.

To start reading, users click go and choose a theme, including Jungle, Ocean or Woodland adventure. These stories, in turn, feature different characters and are paired with varieties of Kix cereal, like Original, Berry Berry, and Honey.

Stories are presented as slideshows with instructions at the start about which box character to build and where to use said characters throughout. The stories also include tabs to share at the end.

In addition, the new cereal boxes are only available at Target.

While it remains to be seen whether this is enough to encourage moms to reintroduce breakfast cereal in general, and Kix in particular, the Kix Adventure series is also reminiscent of recent efforts from other cereal brands like Lucky Charms and Fruit Loops, which have made appeals to adults who grew up eating the cereal.

“I do think that cereal brands play up the nostalgia aspect of the breakfast experience,” said Tessa Wegert, communications director at digital marketing agency Enlighten. “It’s a perfect way to highlight the place that their products have within a household and family.”

In addition, Wegert notes cereal brands have long embraced books as a way to connect with kids and their parents and to show support of literacy. For example, Cheerios has been running a literacy program for 12 years that includes placing books inside cereal boxes and other General Mills brands distribute comic books, she says.

“Kix Adventures and the new Kix packaging encourage reading while also capitalizing on online media’s engaging features and capabilities,” Wegert said. “Readers get a multimedia experience, but it takes the cereal box to make it truly interactive. The program is a smart way to incite purchases while also providing value to the customer. It modernizes the quotidian act of eating cereal for breakfast to appeal to a more digitally inclined customer base.”

First introduced in 1937, Kix says it uses ingredients like whole grain corn to “make the cereal that generations later, kids still love and moms still feel good about.” Kix is a General Mills brand.

What do you think about Kix’s use of online media? Is the interactive element enough to convince parents to actually buy the product?