Blog Post for: Megan Weinberg, MA
11/12/2009 | Megan Weinberg, MA
Ahoy Cap’n! Abandon Ship!
This morning, I went to the Cap’n Crunch cereal Web site because I had a question about one of their products. I was greeted with the following message:
"Thanks for visiting the Cap'n Crunch web site. We are refreshing the content and look forward to your next visit. The activities advertised on packages of Cap'n Crunch are no longer available. We apologize for any inconvenience."
The first part of the message did not alarm me, as there have been many instances where a site has gone under construction to revamp games/add new content, etc. However, the second part of the message made me pause and think. In our recent cereal report, we showed that Cap’n Crunch was not advertised at all in 2008 or early 2009. However, in April of 2009 they launched a new Web site targeted to children called “Crunch Island.” Within this island was “Seaworld Bay,” a tie-in with the popular amusement park. The Cap’n Crunch Web site is promoted on cereal boxes and includes features that must be unlocked by codes that can only be found on the boxes. We mention this in the discussion section of our report at www.cerealfacts.org.
Now that you have the history, you can see how the message on the Cap’n Crunch Web site is pretty interesting. Another curious observation is that we checked to see if this message appeared before or after the release of our report, and we found that it was posted sometime after. Coincidence? Why would a company suspend a whole advertising campaign? While we can’t be certain what exactly is going on, we hope that this is an indication that Quaker’s Cap’n Crunch decided to do the right thing by suspending its aggressive internet marketing campaign to children. If they in fact did do this, we applaud their example and hope that others follow in their footsteps.