Post cereals sound off in pair of new promos

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Snap, Crackle and Pop move over. This fall, Kraft Foods' Post Cereal division will introduce its own distinctive noises to breakfast time.

Two upcoming Post kids promotions will feature sound chips inside cereal boxes that will be triggered upon opening.

A "Bedrock Rocks 2000" promotion for Pebbles cereals focused on back-to-school offers a chance to win a concert in their hometown featuring tween pop star Sammie. Winning boxes will feature the voice of Fred Flintstone.

For a tie-in with Fox Family Channel's "13 Days of Halloween," boxes for three of Post's top kids cereal brands will emit spooky sounds.

"What we try to do is deliver fun and creativity to show how Post empowers kids and allows them to express themselves," said Eric Greifenberger, category business director for Post Kids Cereals.

'BEDROCK ROCKS'

For the "Bedrock Rocks" promotion, 501 specially marked boxes of Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Pebbles and Cinna-Crunch Pebbles will contain the Fred Flintstone voice chips to congratulate winners. Five hundred consumers will receive $50 music gift certificates, while one will win the grand prize of creating his or her own concert featuring Sammie. All the Pebbles boxes will tout offers for a free "Bedrock Rocks" CD featuring songs from tween-friendly artists including Sammie, Geri Halliwell and M2M.

TV advertising, from Ogilvy & Mather, Los Angeles, features Fred and Barney Rubble singing the praises of the promotional offers. It will run on network, cable and syndicated TV programming.

For Halloween, Post for the first time will use a light-activated sound chip featuring scary "ghoulish ghost sounds" inside all boxes of participating cereals, not just winning boxes. Millions of boxes of Honeycomb, Oreo O's (with Halloween orange sprinkles) and Waffle Crisp (with bats) will carry the chip and instructions to tune in to Fox Family Channel's third-annual "13 days of Halloween" programming. Three new series are set to debut during the 13 days, "The Zack Files," "Realscarystories" and "The Fearing Mind."

From Oct. 23 through Oct. 28, Fox will conduct the "Ghost Lookout Game," superimposing a ghost symbol during programming when kids should open their boxes to "have a spooktacular time." Post packaging will feature 13 "spooktacular tricks and treats" kids can play on friends and family using the scary-sounding box. Post also plans displays in 7,000 retail stores.

FOX SUPPORTS

For its part, Fox will run promotional spots during its programming starting Oct. 9 that instruct kids to pick up specially marked boxes of Post cereal or sound-chip cards with the ghoulish ghost noise that will be available free at 4,500 Blockbuster locations.

"Allowing kids to participate and play along is always a successful tactic," said Terry Holmstrom, VP-promotions marketing for Fox Family Worldwide.

Sales of Pebbles cereal varieties, Kraft's top kids cereal franchise, have been doing "exceptionally well," Mr. Greifenberger said, with Fruity up 6.2% to $128 million, Cocoa up 5.3% to $75 million and the new Cinn-Crunch now a $13 million business for the 52 weeks ended June 18, per Information Resources Inc.

Honeycomb, Post's second-largest kids' cereal, was up 3.2% to $112 million, Oreo O's was down 45.7% to $47 million and Waffle Crisp was down 12.8% to $33 million for the same time period. Kraft spent $110 million on its Post cereals in 1999, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

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