Cereal Giant General Mills Plans for Drastic Change in Cereal Packaging

It’s been a habit since we were kids, but it looks as though simply reading cereal boxes as we are eating breakfast is soon to be a thing of the past.

Mark Addicks of General Mills says that on average, a person reads the text on his/her box 12 times. This may be people who are looking at the nutritional information or counting calories, looking at the pictures or filling in the maze, or those who are looking to just passing the time as they eat.

People love their cereal boxes, and now, General Mills is working on ways to extend the experience by creating ways for us to use our cell phones while we eat. Through the use of QR codes, apps, and augmented reality among other things, General Mills wants to enhance your breakfast routine via smartphones.

“There’s never been a time like this,” says Addicks, a 23-year veteran of the company. “Because of the digital technology that resides in people’s hands … we can now deliver content that engages and enhances the experience. Before, we had to rely on a 30-second TV ad.”

Addick’s has big plans for the cereal giant and wants to basically reinvent food packaging by using digital technology and making it more interactive. Without revealing much, Addick’s says that he is working on concepts that he hopes will be out by the summer.

The main form of smartphone interaction Addick’s is hoping for is through QR codes. “You point to a logo and things start to appear,” he says. “Maybe some functional content will pop up on a cake-mix box, or you might see entertainment and games coming from a cereal box. What I’m hoping for is pure entertainment.”

Although General Mills competitor, Kellogg, already uses QR codes on their recent boxes of Special K and Krave cereals as well as an augmented-reality promotion on the back of their Corn Pops, General Mills isn’t discouraged.

General Mills isn’t completely new to creating smartphone apps for its products and has already started to experiment with a smartphone app on its Yoplait Greek yogurts. The app invited consumers to find Greek items on the backs of their packaging and in turn, General Mills made donations to food shelters. The company has also already tested augmented reality on a box of Honey Nut Cheerios.

So, with a smartphone in hand, be sure to keep an eye on General Mills cereal in the months to come.

Since when does Toy Packaging Become Cooler than the Toy Itself?

Earlier this year we shared Mashable writer, Matthias Garcia’s annual mobile marketing trends on the rise in our blog “Mobile Marketing Trends to Look for in 2012,” and one of those trends was marketing through augmented reality. This trend is already starting to make its mark in 2012 and can be seen courtesy of Bandai’s new Thundercats, Ben 10, and Power Rangers.

In this augmented reality package design, consumers who want purchase the product may use their smart phone or iPad  to bring the package to life via Aurasma’s augmented reality. Parents as well as kids are presented with a to-scale 3D animated image of the toy that they want to purchase. The benefit of this allows the consumer to see the product from all sides and angles without having to actually open the box.

“The toy industry is always looking for new ways to excite customers so we are thrilled to be the first partner of this pioneering 3D technology creating 21st century window shopping,” said Darrell Jones, Marketing Director at Bandai.

Martina King, Managing Director of Aurasma, expanded on Jones’ enthusiasm:

“Parents will now have to remember not to throw away the packaging which, thanks to Aurasma, looks set to become an essential part of the toy’s experience and something kids keep returning to.”

“Using new technology comes as second nature to kids today and whether using their parents’ or their own mobile phone, this imaginative partnership between Aurasma and Bandai will delight the whole family. And best of all, because Aurasma is free to download, it means that now pocket money can be stretched just that little bit further.”


Mobile Marketing Trends to Look out for in 2012

Mobile technologies are constantly being created to bridge the gap between the digital world and reality. In the past few years, digital marketing has become a way to engage consumers with a brand through their phones and this year will be no exception.

Matthias Galica, contributor to the social media news website, Mashable, recently shared with readers what he felt would be the top mobile marketing trends in the year 2012. Here’s a rundown of his predictions and what he thinks will be “the good,” or the benefits to each new technological platform. If you are unfamiliar with some of these new media terms, we will provide a definition to help you gain some more insight for what this next year may hold.

Quick Response (QR) Codes Will be More Prevalent
QR codes seem to be everywhere these days, and don’t expect that to slow down any time soon.

Definition:  A QR code is a type of bar that is designed to be used for smart phones or other electronic devices that have a camera. Many modern smart phones have the ability to interpret a QR code. The amount of information on a QR code is much more than a standard UPC-style bar code. A QR code can direct users to websites and to other online information.

The Good: We will see the disappearance of non-standard formats, an exponential rise in the amount of devices that are capable of reading the codes, and a “steady march towards improved calls-to-action spurred by more accountable analytics.”

qrcodes 300x142 Mobile Marketing Trends to Look out for in 2012

Augmented Reality (AR)
Check out this cool video to see an example of AR, Augmented Reality Cinema.

Definition:  It’s a complex idea, but simply put, it’s a new technology that blurs the barriers between reality and computer.

The Good: Mobile devices are becoming more capable exponentially, and a few successful AR campaigns have been able to capture mainstream imaginations. 

augmented reality wide 300x155 Mobile Marketing Trends to Look out for in 2012

Near Field Communication
Definition: Near field communication (NFC) refers to a short-range wireless communication technology using radio frequency waves. The purpose of the technology is to enable communication or information to be exchanged between devices separated by a few inches. Examples of uses include:

  • You could take pictures with a cell phone with a built in camera, and touch an enabled computer or television set to transmit the images for display;
  • You could download applications or games to a handheld device by touching the computer

The Good: New advancements in technology have hastened the competitions drive to create mobile marketing opportunities that give consumers the ability to swap SIM cards for NFC in lieu of upgrading the device entirely. NFC campaigns will appear in along side with QR codes.

nfc iphone 5 ability1 300x279 Mobile Marketing Trends to Look out for in 2012

The Field (Everybody Else)
“QR, AR and NFC are getting all kinds of buzz, but a healthy contingent of other contenders is also vying to close the loop. Given the wide spectrum of opportunities in offline-to-online engagement, it’s not inconceivable that multiple technologies can succeed across mutually exclusive consumer behaviors.” – Galica

Source: http://mashable.com/2012/01/11/qr-codes-augmented-reality-2012/