The Crazy Psychology Behind Cereal Boxes

Are cereal box characters staring at you?

A Cornell University study found some incredible facts behind cereal branding. For example, cartoon cereal box characters look directly at kids, in an attempt to influence kids’ interest in the product.


The study also found that cereals marketed to kids are placed half as high on shelves as cereals for adults, which allows the product to appear closer to the eye level of children.

The cereal box characters often appear to be looking downwards at a 9.7-Degree angle, so as to lock eyes with children and increase brand loyalty.

Meanwhile, characters on adult cereals look straight ahead. The study found that the eye contact had a major influence on people’s trust in the cereal brands.


Researchers polled a group of people and asked them to look at a Trix box where the rabbit was looking straight at them and at another where the rabbit was looking down. They found that the eye contact increased people’s positive feelings toward the product significantly.