- Cinnamon Toast Crunch is promoting a singing challenge on social video app TikTok with an influencer campaign. Musical artists Jason Derulo and Bebe Rexha are among the celebrities and influencers that the General Mills-owned cereal brand recruited for the campaign, per an announcement emailed to Mobile Marketer.
- The #CTCVoiceBox challenge urges people to share videos of themselves covering their faces with a Cinnamon Toast Crunch box, which has a smiling face printed on the back, while singing along to Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance with Somebody." The brand also created an augmented reality (AR) effect with an animated version of the cereal box's smiling face that works in TikTok's selfie camera view.
- Billed as a "quarentainment style singing challenge," #CTCVoiceBox has generated more than 1.3 billion views in four days, demonstrating the continuing power of TikTok to reach young consumers, even amid an uncertain landscape due to a stalled ownership deal.
Cinnamon Toast Crunch's #CTCVoiceBox challenge has generated massive viewership on TikTok, the likely result of enlisting popular singers like Jason Derulo and Bebe Rexha, who have millions of followers, in the effort. The animated AR face filter is a novel addition to the challenge, inspiring thousands of people to create their own music videos and share them with friends and followers. That sharing helps General Mills to extend the reach of its campaign among TikTok's 100 million users in the U.S.
The video challenge is a sign that brands are still developing campaigns for TikTok, despite the possibility that the social video app will be banned in the U.S. because of national security concerns. TikTok's parent company ByteDance is seeking a deal to avoid a ban in the U.S., though the outcome of those talks remains uncertain.
Cinnamon Toast Crunch's challenge on TikTok comes a week after Yoplait, the yogurt brand marketed by General Mills, launched a dance challenge on Instagram Reels. Yoplait enlisted Jennifer Lopez for the challenge that asks Instagram users to share videos using her new single "Pa Ti," while also raising money for charity. Amid the uncertainty around TikTok, mobile marketers could start running more campaigns on Reels, the app's TikTok-like video feature.
It's not clear how many people play with AR content on TikTok, though similar effects are a popular feature of Snapchat, the photo-messaging app that also is popular with U.S. teens. Snapchat's parent company Snap has said that 70% of its users play with AR content every day, especially since the app's camera features the effects very prominently in a carousel. TikTok may see similar engagement with sponsored AR content by brands.
General Mills also has shown a greater willingness to experiment with its more prominent cereal brands amid a surge in sales. The company last month brought back recipes for several popular cereals with a livestreamed event targeting people who grew up seeing brands like Golden Grahams and Cocoa Puffs while watching Saturday morning cartoons. General Mills also collaborated with Champion on a line of activewear inspired by leading cereal brands including Lucky Charms and Honey Nut Cheerios. These efforts to make General Mills cereals a part of culture could help keep consumers engaged as CPG brands saw a surge in sales during the pandemic's early days.
General Mills has ramped up its marketing efforts to help prolong a pandemic-driven jump in sales that began to moderate in the most recently completed quarter. U.S. cereal sales grew 10% in the quarter from a year earlier, but that increase was slower than the 26% jump in the prior three-month period. Total organic sales growth of 10% also was slower than the 16% increase in the prior quarter, when the company saw strong demand from consumers who stocked their pantries with shelf-stable foods. General Mills gained market share in key product categories like cereal during the health crisis, The Wall Street Journal reported, but risks losing those gains as consumers revert to their former shopping habits.