Special K gets Lucky

When I was a kid one of the simple pleasures of breakfast was the entertainment provided by the back of a cereal box. Stuff like the adventures of Snap, Crackle and Pop, or as I got older, the stories about Wheaties champions . . .

Last November, after attending the DMI national conference, I wrote the first piece in this blog about augmented reality and the impact it was likely to have in redefining the role of the package at retail and in the home. At the time, just 10 months ago, these changes seemed fascinating but distant.

But we live in a time when the word distant is defined in hours, not years. So the adoption of this technology has moved much faster than most of us in the industry thought was possible.

It is not an exaggeration to say that in just those few short months, the cereal box has evolved from a passive piece of printed cardboard to an active electronic communication device. And as my friend Ray Kurzweil can attest, when something moves from analog technology (old cereal boxes) to digital technology (new connected cereal boxes), the speed of change goes from linear to exponential.

One new example of this technology comes from Special K and Lucky. Here is a quote from the Lucky site about their deal,

“Here’s a partnership that makes perfect sense: Special K, the cereal that’s always talking about fitting into your jeans, and Lucky, the magazine specifically about clothing and fit, have partnered. Starting today, specially marked packages of Special K will have smartphone-friendly barcodes that link you directly to a video of our editors sharing their best secrets on finding the right pair of jeans.”

Brands are increasingly about a shared experience these days, and this is just another example of how the new package is being used as a vehicle to connect, support and inspire our lifestyle.


About Richard Shear

designer, husband, teacher, blogger, father, athlete, author, historian Richard has over 25 years of brand identity and package design experience, with a wide range of clients such as Ahold, Coca-Cola, Hasbro, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Pernod Ricard and Procter & Gamble. He began his career working with the legendary advertising art director, and AIGA Medalist, George Lois and the British design manager Clive Chajet. In his next design management position at Lippincott & Margulies, he worked with Walter Margulies learning the complex skills of global corporate identity. He then became Creative Director and Partner at Peterson & Blyth, one of the premier brand identity and package design firms of the time. He is a founding faculty member of the Masters in Branding Program at New York’s School of Visual Arts. He publishes the blog The Package Unseen, and has been a guest lecturer at colleges including FIT, Trinity College and Tyler School of Art. He is a graduate of the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Richard is a Board member of the AIGA MetroNorth Chapter, past President of AIGA‘s Brand Design Association, President of the Package Design Council and a member of its Board of Directors. He is a member of USA Cycling and US Rowing, a nationally ranked masters bicycle racer, and a member of The Saugatuck Rowing Club, the 2010 Masters Club National Champion.
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