Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cereal Box Mascots are Designed to Catch Your Eye

Marketing companies are more sneaky and clever than I give them credit! Researchers at Cornell University Food and Brand Lab recently discovered that cereal mascot's eyes are placed depending on who they are targeting.

Don't believe it? The next time you are walking down the cereal aisle look at Cap'n Crunch. His eyes will most likely be cast downward to make eye contact with an unsuspecting little sugar fiend. Apparently, more than 86% of cereal mascots are looked at a 10-degree angle downward, making them more likely to make eye contact with children aka. their target market.

However, look at cereal boxes marketed towards adults. No eyes cast downward but looking right at you.

The reasoning? Apparently, making eye contact with a mascot attributes to more positive feelings and trust towards that brand which results in a higher brand loyalty. And of course, the more positive feelings toward a brand one has, the more likely you are to buy it.

To perform the study, they gave 63 people two version of Trix cereal (pictured above) one that featured the rabbit looking straight ahead at the viewer and the second which has the same rabbit looking down. The people were then asked to rate their feelings of trust and connection to the brand. Participants who made eye contact with the rabbit reported 16% more brand trust and a 28% greater feeling of connection the brand compared to participants given a box of Trix with the rabbit looking down.

To read more about the studies click here.