Captain Crunch is enticing your kids with eye contact in the grocery aisle. And it's likely the eye of Tony the Tiger, not his “grrrrrreat!” growl, that encourages your kids to clamor for Frosted Flakes.
A Cornell University study finds cartoon characters on kids' cereals routinely gaze downward at a 9.6-degree angle, the perfect angle to make eye contact with the little ones in the breakfast aisle, and lure them in.
Characters on adult-themed cereals stare ahead for the same reason, to lock gazes with Mom and Dad, or are looking elsewhere.
Children who looked at two different Trix boxes gave much higher scores of trust and brand connection when the rabbit looked downward at them, instead of straight ahead. That kind of feeling and loyalty could lead to sales increases.
Researchers suggest that marketers of healthier cereals might want to add a mascot looking downward to attract children.