I remember as a kid studying the back of the cereal box, doing the puzzles or planning how I could eat 10 boxes of Fruit Loops in one sitting so I could have the required 10 proof-of-purchases to get the Tucan Sam walkman, or whatever. Or, I would read about the free prize buried at the bottom of the cereal bag, fail to contain my excitement, and ultimately dig my grubby 10 year-old hand into the cereal to sift out the trinket. Fun!
This morning, I opened up my $1.60 box of Jewel Apple Cinnamon Toasted Oats to be offered another kind of surprise — a free trip down guilt lane!
Front of box:
Back of box:
“Imagine all the things you could do instead of watching television! Unplug the tube and grab your family!“
That’s right: Jewel’s cheap-ass Apple Jacks knockoff (let’s not lie) not only taste disappointing, but make you feel like a disappointment.
I don’t know about you, but this back panel reeks of condescension. Also, is it really the child’s job to gather round the family and sign them up to volunteer at a soup kitchen? It’s as if the box designer was like, “Hmmm…what do I put on here to entertain the little nippers as they eat this sugar-coated wheat starch? Oh I know: Guilt and Shame.”
Bring back the free prizes!