I’m no one to tell Warner Bros. how to license their cartoon characters (well actually I’m probably qualified… but I digress) but according to Sharon Pupel, marketing director with Post Cereals, the Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment super star John Cena will be replacing Fred Flintstone on four million Fruity Pebbles boxes starting this week.
“We’ve just been talking with kids. They wanted more variety,” she said. “Fred isn’t necessarily the … coolest or [most] relevant guy for kids who we are going after.”
What!? Fred Flintstone IS the coolest (at least in the first two seasons)… This is an outrage! Fred has been fronting the cereal since 1971. It’s the end of an era!
But hold on to your Corn Flakes; don’t get your Wheaties in a bunch – it’s only for a limited-edition promotion. However, Post warns, “Cena may return to the cereal box in the fall when school is back in session”.
The official WWE Press Release, below:
WWE AND WWE SUPERSTAR JOHN CENA TEAM UP WITH POST PEBBLES CEREAL IN NEW PROMOTIONAL PARTNERSHIP
Parsippany, NJ / January 8, 2013 — Beginning today (for a limited time), WWE Superstar John Cena and Bamm-Bamm will replace Fred Flintstone on the front of more than 8 million Post Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles cereal boxes as part of a promotional partnership between Post Foods and WWE. Pebbles Cereal, WWE and John Cena started their partnership in 2012 after WWE Superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson teased Cena about the brightly colored ring gear he wore, saying Cena looked like he was “running around like a big bowl of Fruity Pebbles.” This led to fans chanting “Fruity Pebbles” in arenas whenever Cena would enter the ring.
In January 2012, Post printed more than 3 million Fruity Pebbles cereal boxes featuring Cena, including a sweepstakes to meet the WWE Superstar. Partnering with John Cena to communicate the powerful taste of Fruity Pebbles cereal resulted in the highest redeeming on pack promotion in recent Post history.
“Given the strength and fit of the two properties, we knew that the partnership would be successful since both brands share common consumer demographics,” said Sharon Pupel, Director of Marketing at Post. “WWE broadcasts are largely a family viewing event with more parents watching WWE with their children than any other sports league.”
Coming off the successful 2012 campaign, Post decided to build upon the partnership in 2013 with WWE and John Cena. In addition to making Cena more prominent on the packaging, which is currently on shelves, Post has developed several other marketing initiatives to be pulsed throughout the year. For example, fans can participate in a sweepstakes via the PebblesMania.com interactive gaming site to win tickets and a VIP experience to WWE’s WrestleMania 30 in 2014; all they need is the unique code found on specially marked boxes of Pebbles cereal. During the back to school window, Post will produce another 5 million packages of Pebbles cereal featuring a fun photo app where fans can create picture of themselves with Cena.
Additionally, young fans can participate in Pebbles’ tailgating-like experiences at three major WWE events in 2013, starting with Royal Rumble on January 27. Young fans will be able to jump into a ball pit designed to look like a giant bowl of Fruity Pebbles, create “Pebbles fan” posters used to cheer on their favorite WWE Superstars in the arena, and of course, sample Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles cereal.
“It’s been a life-long dream to be on a cereal box and I’m proud to represent WWE as part of our partnership with Post,” said WWE Superstar John Cena. “It’s an incredible honor to be recognized by Post, and I’m looking forward to joining millions of families at their breakfast table across the country.”
“We are excited to have a multi-year deal with Post and see the WWE and John Cena on the front of millions of Pebbles cereal boxes all across the country,” said Andrew Judelson, Executive Vice President, Sales and Partnership Marketing, WWE. “At WWE, we pride ourselves on delivering family-friendly entertainment and look forward to activating our partnership with Post even further at key WWE events later this year.”
“John Cena is definitely a favorite celebrity among many of our Pebbles Cereal fans,” said Ms. Pupel. “We are excited that he will temporarily flex his muscle on our boxes alongside Bamm-Bamm, one of the most-loved Flintstones characters. We’re looking forward to engaging with our fans in 2013 at premiere WWE events.”
What next? Howard Wolowitz on Froot Loops?
(Thanks, Pedro Nakama)