In 1971, when General Foods licensed "The Flintstones" cartoon characters to appear on Post Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles brand cereals, it was a novel tactic. But it was one that company executives felt was justified, says Pat Browne, spokeswoman for General Foods USA, a division of Kraft General Foods, White Plains, N.Y.
n fact, "The Flintstones" cartoon is the longest-running television show in
history, having been on the air continuously since 1960 when it was created by Hanna-Barbera Productions. Turner acquired Hanna-Barbera in 1991 and thus became the licensor of its many properties, including "The Flintstones."
Browne says cereal sales were "strong" during the time MCA/Universal's live action movie, "The Flintstones," was in theaters.
"It's the third best-selling cereal in the Post line, so clearly The Flintstones' association has worked," Browne notes.
To maximize that connection, General Foods crafted two proprietary promotional tie-ins to the movie, as well as a commercial for the cereal that used clips from the movie.
The movie characters were shown on posters carried on-pack on 4 million to 5 million 13-ounce packages of Pebbles cereal.
To receive a free 24-inch beach ball featuring the movie characters, consumers were required to cut the coupon off the back of 17-ounce packages of Pebbles cereal and redeem it at Toys 'R' Us; 50,000 beach balls were given away.