Friday, May 16, 2014

We like eye contact on our cereal boxes

In a study published last month in the journal Environment and Behavior, researchers at Cornell University manipulated the gaze of the cartoon rabbit on Trix cereal boxes and found that adult subjects were more likely to choose Trix over competing brands if the rabbit was looking at them rather than away. In a creepy corollary, the researchers found that the eyes of characters on boxes of cereal marketed to kids were directed downward, and can meet the upward gaze of children in grocery store aisles.

“Making eye contact even with a character on a cereal box inspires powerful feelings of connection,” said Brian Wansink, a professor at Cornell’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and the director of the school’s Food and Brand Lab, and one of the study’s authors.
--Kate Murphy, NYT, on selling with eyes