Stop staring at me, cereal!

I came across this research story on Reddit earlier, about how the characters on cereal boxes attempt to entice eye contact with their target audience. Children-themed boxes typically look down, toward the children (with an average angle of 9.6% degrees), while adult-aimed products tend to look straight forward.

I’m constantly fascinated by the tricks marketers utilize to instill brand awareness and trust. At the market this afternoon, I made a point to go down the cereal aisle to see if this information was backed up by what was on the shelves. All of the children’s cereal were on the middle two shelves, with all of their eyes pointing down at the ground. The adult cereal was on the top and bottom shelf, with eyes looking straight ahead.

You can say that the eyes are looking toward the cereal on the box, and I wouldn’t argue with you, but they did a test with the eyes looking straight ahead, or down. People found a stronger connection with the brand when the eyes were looking straight toward them. Seems silly, but there was a nearly 30% increase in trust. Others rated Trix higher when the eyes looked at them. Trix is fucking garbage, so if anyone was rating it highly, it must have been because of the eyes.

With all the money major companies blow on advertising, I would not be shocked if this was something they did on purpose.

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I am Keith J. Frank, an overweight, acerbic, narcissistic, and sometimes lovable asshole that was born in June of 1983.

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