Rice Krispies’ personalized packaging looks to spread love as kids face uncertain school year

Dive Brief:

  • Rice Krispies Treats launched a back-to-school campaign that encourages parents to give their kids a little extra love in moments of separation, which could feel amplified during the coronavirus pandemic, according to details shared with Marketing Dive.
  • The Kellogg-owned snack brand created limited-edition “Love in Case of” kits that feature wrappers parents can write messages of support on for their kids as they head into a particularly uncertain school year. The cases are available exclusively through KelloggStore.com, and Rice Krispies Treats will donate $20 to the nonprofit No Kid Hungry for each kit purchased between Aug. 20 – Sept. 30.
  • As part of the effort, Rice Krispies Treats partnered with Lori Gottlieb, therapist and author of “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone,” to create tips for parents on how to communicate with their kids this year. The brand is also working with actress Vanessa Lachey, who shared how she is using the kits to stay connected to her children.

Dive Insight:

Rice Krispies Treats is returning to a personalized packaging concept, but imbuing it with new significance as the back-to-school season carries deeper uncertainties and serious health risks this year with the continued spread of the novel coronavirus around the U.S.

The brand introduced the packaging idea two years ago, when it partnered with the National Federation of the Blind to create Braille stickers and recordable audio boxes that helped parents send encouraging messages to children who are blind or have low vision. Last fall, the Kellogg label evolved the strategy to provide sensory “Love Notes” to place on lunchboxes for kids with autism, part of a tie-up with Autism Speaks.

Now, Rice Krispies Treats is broadening the scope of the campaign to let parents provide messages of support for all children, as kids this year will have to contend with a public health crisis along with typical back-to-school anxieties stemming from separation and facing new experiences, like meeting a teacher or trying out for a sports team.

Other kids will remain at home for a year of virtual learning, and may be saddened by not being able to see their friends and teachers in person. By partnering with therapist Gottlieb, Rice Krispies Treats looks to help parents with advice on navigating the specific challenges of a patchwork return to school.

The effort comes as parent company Kellogg has seen strong sales this year, with consumers stocking up on pantry-ready goods amid a spike in home cooking and a return to comfort food and snacks. Kellogg plans to ramp up its marketing through the second half of 2020 after a comparatively quiet H1, as the marketer looks to sustain newfound momentum that proved elusive prior to health crisis.

The “Love in Case of” initiative keys into some of the areas packaged food marketers are investing more heavily in during the pandemic, including e-commerce. Online grocery sales have seen a massive jump as consumers try to avoid shopping in-person, providing new business opportunities for the once-stodgy category.

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