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January 23, 2008

A Tasty Promotion for Spiderwick

Specially marked boxes of Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs, Reese's Puffs, Cookie Crisps and Honey Nut Cheerios will include one of three collectible books based on the second title in the Spiderwick series, The Seeing Stone. The three will be evenly distributed among the 10 million boxes, with each store receiving some of each title. The cover is visible through a clear window in each box.

Each book features a third of the original story with a special introduction and conclusion, followed by a brand-new prequel story and illustrations created by Tony DeTerlizzi and Holly Black in conjunction with GM and S&S. The new material, which comprises about 10 to 15 of the 64 pages in each book, is available only through the GM promotion.

Simon and Schuster has partnered with General Mills for a 10 million-box, five-brand cereal promotion tied to the Spiderwick Chronicles. Running from January 1 to March 1, the promotion’s timing is tied to the Spiderwick film being released in February. But its focus is entirely on the books. In fact, when the two companies started talking about the partnership, the film was optioned but didn’t have a green light, so it wasn’t a factor in the deal, according to Laura Ferguson, S&S director of premiums, CDP and corporate sales.

In addition to the wide exposure of 10 million boxes (plus four million more in England and Ireland), the promotion is unusual in that the books themselves are not identified with any General Mills or cereal brand logos. In addition, the premiums involve an large amount of new content for a children’s promotion. “General Mills was looking for a series that was already a success with 8- to 12-year-olds, but also where the authors would add content that would be exclusive to them,” Ferguson explains.

Simon & Schuster is the longtime partner for General Mills’ annual Spoonfuls of Stories promotion. While GM was talking to a number of publishers about this promotional slot, Ferguson believes S&S’s existing relationship with the company may have played into GM’s decision to go with S&S, since the corporation has already approved S&S’s factories and is confident in its ability to meet FDA requirements associated with a food promotion. But the main draw was the content and its appeal to kids. “Spiderwick speaks for itself,” Ferguson says. (publishersweekly.com)


Posted by dschnee at January 23, 2008 7:11 AM