Brands Create Analog Entertainment For Stress Relief, Screen Fatigue

Board games, puzzles, cards, dice, and strange recipe concoctions:  Brands are pivoting to help remedy pandemic boredom.  These branded, analog activities can help consumers unplug and indulge in some in-person entertainment. For example, some food and beverage brands are repositioning their offerings to better adults and children looking for ways stay entertained without a screen.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, as shown by a board game created by Kellogg's Frosted Mini-Wheats. The company’s first-ever board game, "Morning Craze," prompts players to silence “The Growl” they feel when they miss out on breakfast. However, only consumers enrolled in the Kellogg’s Family Rewards program were eligible to enter and win one of 500 prize kits containing the game, and a box of Frosted Mini-Wheats.

Kellogg’s has developed several contests during the pandemic, like its “Special K Blursday Go-Away Kit Sweepstakes” to help consumers better delineate weekdays amid the pandemic.



Kraken rum took the renewed interest in puzzles to a dark, challenging place. It created a 1,000-piece, all-black puzzle, stained to recall squid ink. When completed, it boasts a glow-in-the-dark secret code that puzzlers can use to unlock prizes at the brand’s online shop.

Kraft Heinz launched a family-friendly three-pack game set inspired by the brand’s macaroni & cheese, JELL-O, and Heinz ketchup products. Each  game -- including a JELL-O card game -- was designed using the brand’s classic food packaging.

Prior to this, Heinz launched an all-red, 570-piece puzzle over the summer. What began as a promotional stunt and 57 puzzles grew to mass availability in Canada and the United States.

Busch Beer created a 525-piece puzzle with a Willy Wonka vibe. The $30 puzzle featured Busch’s lumberjack spokesman holding a can of Busch Light. A handful of  puzzles, however, depicted the man holding a golden can. Fans who nabbed the golden puzzles had the chance to win a $5,000 outdoor vacation. In light of the pandemic’s effect on the travel industry, Busch donated $5 from each puzzle purchase to tour guides from the National Forest Foundation.

If you need a reprieve from board games and want to up your cooking game, Mountain Dew is launching a cookbook this month to commemorate its 80th anniversary. The recipes are fan-made and fan-inspired, like green eggs and ham, Mountain Dew Code Red brisket and Mountain Dew-infused pickles.

Even Play-Doh immersed itself in the relaxation game with Play-Doh for adults. With flavors like Mom Jeans, Grill King, Overpriced Latte and Spa Day, it’s time to sit back, grab a scoop, and breathe.

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