Post’s Pebbles brand rings in New Year with Fred Flintstone and TikTok | Marketing Dive

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Dive Insight:

Post-owned Pebbles claims a noteworthy bit of marketing history as the first brand created around a media character thanks to a partnership with Hanna-Barbera’s “The Flintstones” struck in 1971. The product shares a name with the daughter of Fred and Wilma Flintstone as part of the licensing agreement.

For its 50th anniversary, the marketer is pushing a variety of content that aims to provide lighthearted relief following a year marked by a brutal pandemic and economic downturn. Beyond running programming ahead of “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest,” Pebbles developed a custom TikTok confetti effect that could appeal to the app’s teen-oriented audience.

The cereal category has generally benefited from the pandemic as consumers pantry-load and spend more time eating at home. Gen Z and millennials, in particular, have gravitated toward sugary cereal as a means of comfort while quarantined, according to a report from Packaged Facts.

Pebbles also launched a social media contest Tuesday that aims to help families as they plan their own birthday celebrations in 2021. On the brand’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, parents can share stories through Feb. 1 about why their children deserve gifts for the chance to win one of 50 cash prizes valued at $2,021. On the product front, Pebbles is pushing several new offerings for its golden anniversary, including coffee creamers, Dymatize Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles protein powder and Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble Funko Pop! figures, among others.

Post’s tie-up with “The Flintstones” has endured even as Hanna-Barbera underwent significant changes. The studio was eventually acquired by Warner Bros., which is now under the WarnerMedia umbrella.

While Post saw the benefit of pantry-loading earlier in the pandemic, the company has hit some bumps in the road of late, a sign that shopping habits driven by the health crisis could be starting to cool. Net sales for Post’s ready-to-eat cereal business decreased 3.2% year-on-year to $471.9 million in fourth-quarter earnings results released in November.

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