When I originally chose to analyze cereal boxes, I didn’t realize how difficult it would be. While it isn’t that hard to speculate on the reasons behind the decisions the marketers made, it is hard to find differences among the various boxes. Although there are different “types” of cereal boxes (i.e. healthy, adult, children’s), each type have astounding similarities.
These boxes are dominate by bright colors, animated mascots, and flying cereal. Apparently, kids who eat these cereals can’t possibly be attracted to them without the prospect of entering a sugar-induced whirlwind of craziness. This is completely different from their original boxes, however, which seem to allow the food and name to speak for themselves.
Healthy and adult cereals
It seems to me that “adult” and “healthy” are one in same where cereals are concerned, at least where advertising is concerned. After all, what child wants to eat a healthy cereal? Healthier/adult cereals seems to be primarily geared toward women–specifically mothers. Specific aspects of the “healthy” cereal is always highlighted, such as whole wheat or gluten-free. (This “healthy” concept is also seen in children’s cereals, thanks to the abbreviated nutrition facts on the front of the boxes.) With adult cereals, the cereal itself seems to claim most of the real estate o the box (or at least more so than in children’s cereals).
Of course, to break these cereal boxes down like this is doesn’t begin the scratch the surface of the decisions behind their making. However, I do feel as though looking at these boxes in this way has made me much more aware of how the boxes affect my decision-making. If I feel like being healthy, I go for the boring boxes. If I want to be “bad” and get something sugary, I search for bright, frantic boxes.