February 26, 2009
power of novelty and nostalgia
While walking through the aisles of Target this weekend, I spied rows of General Mills cereal boxes on an end cap. No uncommon sight, right? But these boxes were no ordinary cereal boxes. They were special, brightly-colored retro editions of Cheerios, Kix, and Golden Grahams. The design was strikingly different from the cereal boxes I was used to seeing lining store shelves. I was compelled enough by their aesthetic appeal of the boxes to purchase the Cheerios.
The simple novelty of the box design (plus a box-front offer for a sweet vintage t-shirt) was enough to get me to purchase when I had no prior intention to do so. The thing is - I actually like Cheerios. I just don't often think to buy Cheerios. While my behavior might say something about my degree of impulsiveness, (or my penchant for mid-century package design) I also think it's notable that I was convinced to purchase when cereal was not on my shopping list. I wonder how many others are like me and will do the same - just for the sake of novelty?
My guess is that General Mills is actually targeting consumers who feel a sense of nostalgia for the brands they remember as kids. Maybe they will eat the cereal, remember that, "Hey, I like this!" and make the cereal a permanent addition to their grocery list.
The idea has potential, and I'm sure it will boost sales in the short term. Whether or not it will work in the long term remains to be seen. And while I personally wasn't around when these designs hit the shelves the first time around, their striking mod look was enough to get me this time.
Check out additional images at The Dieline.
- posted by Hillary Hempstead
[image credits go to sortofbreakit]