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Cereal’s Latest Marketing Effort

Cap’n Crunch is getting his own talk show. You heard right. In the cereal’s latest marketing effort, the classic character, who made his commercial debut during Saturday morning cartoons in the 1960s, continuing strong through the 90s, will be featured in nine YouTube webisodes in which he will interview other cartoon and fictional characters. According to Mashable, installments will air on Tuesdays at 11:35pm starting May 7.


Such a late airtime would imply an adult target audience. This is exactly what parent company Quaker Oats is looking to do – drum up nostalgia among Boomers and Generation X-ers. About two years ago rumors surfaced that the company was attempting to phase out the Cap’n. This was due to the fact he was absent from a large amount of Quaker Oat cereal commercials. However, following the chatter about his “retirement,” the Cap’n started gaining a stronger social media presence through Facebook and Twitter. According to MediaPost, the Cap’n now boasts about 270,000 Facebook fans and 14,000 Twitter followers.

This is an interesting tactic for Quaker Oats. The cereal industry has been suffering as a whole in recent years due to negative publicity regarding amounts of sugar and the link to childhood obesity. Prior to the Cap’n’s brief disappearance in 2011, sales for Cap’n Crunch were down 6.8 percent. But by pushing the sentimental value of the product, the brand is trying to capture the attention of an audience that grew up with it since they were old enough to bring spoons to their mouths. The webcasts should increase the number of subscribers to the Cap’n Crunch YouTube channel, further increasing its digital presence. This is something CEO of Quaker Oats Justin Lambeth admitted to Mashable that the brand is trying to accomplish.

With the majority of adult-focused cereal marketing relying on product aspects such as health benefits, this take, at the very least, might make cereal fun again for us big kids.


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