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We need to put fun back into the cereal aisle

The new Ready Brek promo should be an example to us all, says Pink Key Consulting’s Richard Pink.

Take a walk down the cereal aisle, the biscuit aisle, the sweet aisle, in fact any aisle you like – it’s so boooring!

Go back not too long ago and every one of those aforementioned aisles would have been choc full of promotional activity – and the vast majority of it would have been licensed.

Every packet of cereal would have had an insert leading to war in every home and a considerable amount of food on the floor in the battle between siblings to see whether the widget was in the packet or (every parents nightmare) in the bag. It’s not just cereal either – there is very little inventive, licensed or either, in any of the aisles.

And why?

Because the received wisdom is that licensing and promotions encourages children to eat (in vast quantities) food and drink that is going to do them no good. In reality, the offending foods are probably a lot better than they were when I was growing up, but as lifestyles of children have become more sedentary (probably driven by the pull of the digital world) a casualty of the change has been all the fun I used to have at breakfast and snack times.

It’s like everyone just gave up and there has been a decade-long self imposed hiatus on anything creative – as if your teeth will just drop out if you so much as look at a can of pop.

It’s probably why a decent promotion stands out and the Ready Brek tie-up with We’re Going on a Bear Hunt looks like a corker in among the myriad of ‘days out’ promotions trying their hardest to look like works of creative genius.

This one is genuinely good though, encouraging family activity using the pack as the root of the inspiration. You could be cynical and say they are trying to tick as many ‘right on’ boxes as they can, but at least they are trying.

It’s creative and it encourages children and their parents to be creative too, it’s focused on getting active outdoors. It’s one of those where the promotion has been very nicely linked to the core message of the licence and has given Ready Brek a good platform to focus on the healthy side of the food too – a lovely example of overall activity being greater than the sum of its parts.

I think it’s a thing of beauty, but then I did deal with this kind of stuff for many years. Having said that, it’s the kind of promotion that resonates with me as it seems to achieve everything it sets out to do without (it would seem) needing to have a budget that would make the FD spit his coffee out.

I hope that promoters see it and take notice – we need some fun back in these aisles, because if it isn’t there then no wonder our kids are just going to finish their meal and pick the iPad up.

Richard Pink is md of Pink Key Consulting – an agency specialising in licensing and promotions. He can be contacted on

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