US cereal brand ‘Kix’ is well known for its championing of kids, and its ‘Kid Tested, Mother Approved’ tagline. However, after a lack of marketing for around 10 years, the brand – and the packaging in particular – was in need of rejuvenation.

Standing out on shelf is a challenge for many cereal brands, as the aisle for this category is a crowded one, with hundreds of packs clamoring for consumers’ attention. But Kix wanted to go further than this, recognizing the importance of driving consumer connectivity in the home, as well as in the store. That means, as the tagline suggests, appealing to moms and kids!

Thus, Kix developed a number of new pack concepts, all with the goals of driving engagement, generating kid (and family) interactivity with Kix packaging, and ultimately empowering kids to be creative. We were enlisted to evaluate the new packs’ performance, both on-shelf and at home.

Each Kix box features different themes that complement online stories
Each Kix box features different themes that complement online stories

We felt a mixed methodology was vital: 2OTwenty sessions to capture impact on shelf (the best means of measuring impact in qual) and mobile ethnography to determine actual in-home engagement. And it was this approach that produced two key insights that allowed the Kix team to move forward successfully:

First, while it was clear that the concept of an interactive box was appealing to both moms and kids, the 2OTwenty methodology revealed the importance of the pack not only standing out on shelf, but also being able to convey the interactive feature – all within those valuable first few moments in which moms see the box.

Second, the mobile ethnography allowed us to understand if the interactive packs delivered on parental expectations with their kids. This approach highlighted that while there was real potential in the concept idea to empower children and stimulate creativity, there was a need to optimize the materials themselves.


Kids can use the pop-out pieces to create suggested crafts... ... or let their imaginations run wild!
Kids can use the pop-out pieces to create suggested crafts…
… or let their imaginations run wild!


Kix has since rolled-out the concept with an exclusive launch at Target, accompanied by nine interactive online stories. These stories give families a reason to interact not only with the cereal box, but with each other – forging real emotional connections and creating a happy ending for kids, parents, and cardboard creatures alike.