In the most-ambitious-yet Halloween push for its monster cereal brands, General Mills has employed Blippar augmented reality technology to bring its monster cereal characters to life on this year's boxes.
Once a special Blippar app is downloaded, kids and adult fans can hold point their smartphones at the front of the Count Chocula, Franken Berry and Boo Berry cereal boxes to see each character appear to jump off the front of the box, uttering a "phrase of fear." Chocula, for instance, asks who's knocking on his castle. (The characters are Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre sound-alikes.)
Pointing a phone at the back of the box enables the user to access images of the brands' vintage packages and their TV ads from the '70s and '80s. Count Chocula and Franken Berry debuted in March 1971; Boo Berry launched in October 1972.
The limited-edition "We're Alive!" boxes are being rolled out now, to be in stores nationwide by September.
“The cereal box has historically been a fun source of entertainment at the breakfast table and beyond,” says associate marketing manager Emily Daigle. “This year, we are excited about our partnership with Blippar, as it allows us to take a deeper look at the Monsters’ past in such a memorable way. "
Target is offering an exclusive version of the "We're Alive" box that includes a cut-out castle, while Walmart's version offers glow-in the dark, cut-out masks of the monsters.
General Mills has used Blippar technology previously. For example, in 2013, it offered three limited-edition Wheaties boxes featuring the Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson and a game and shareable photos that could be unlocked using the Blippar app.