Disney, Kellogg Join Forces to Sell Cereal, Movie

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Walt Disney Co. and Kellogg Co. have teamed to promote the animated film "Atlantis: The Lost Empire" through a co-branded cereal and a promotional Web site.


The new, limited-edition toasted oats and chocolate product, called Atlantis: The Lost Empire Cereal, is to be available in stores next month, supported by an integrated marketing push.


The center of this effort is the atlantisadventure.com site. Created by Disney Online, this site offers Atlantis-themed games, coded electronic greeting cards and information on Kellogg's offers.


"Obviously it promotes the movie, that's indisputable, but it also drives consumers to the store shelves to look for the cereal because, in order to play the game, you have to have the code from the box," said Dan Sherlock, vice president of marketing at Disney Online, North Hollywood, CA.


Set in 1914, Disney's Atlantis movie -- set to open June 15 -- follows Milo Thatch, a green museum cartographer, as he journeys with a mysterious captain and a bunch of daredevil explorers to find Atlantis. To guide them, they use an ancient book called "The Shepherd's Journal."


Apart from the Atlantis movie site at Disney.com/atlantis, the promotional atlantisadventure.com is highly integrated with the on-box games and offers to be found on 25 million boxes of Kellogg's cereals that are participating in this effort, including the Atlantis edition.


An all-out effort has been made to milk the Atlantis theme throughout the site. For example, one game called Decoder requires players to practice their translation of an Atlantean language before heading off to discover the lost continent. Another game requires players to put together a puzzle.


The third game, Treasure Quest, requires the purchase of Kellogg's cereals. Consumers play the game by decoding the Atlantean language found on specially marked boxes of Kellogg's cereals. Consumers have to buy a 10-ounce or larger box of one of eight Kellogg's cereal flavors to get the secret password to enter online at atlantisadventure.com to play the game.


The participating cereals are Apple Jacks, Frosted Flakes, Corn Pops, Froot Loops, Mini Wheats, Rice Krispies, Smacks and the Atlantis product. All boxes contain a CD-ROM with the same version of the online game.


Not wanting to miss another chance to merchandise, Kellogg also promises to send the CD-ROM game if consumers mail in four UPC symbols from Kellogg's cereal boxes.


And inside some of these boxes, consumers can find models of one of six Atlantis diving submarines. These subs dive and surface in water by adding baking soda. Consumers can use Kellogg's EET and ERN loyalty points to complete the collection.


Consumers also can use the site to send e-cards based on key characters in the movie - Thatch; Helga Sinclair; and Vincenzo Santorini and Gaetan Moliere. The cards aim to add a viral element to the effort.


Overall, the site will get support from co-branded banners rotating on Disney.com, one of the most visited entertainment sites; links off the official movie site and Kelloggs.com; and Web addresses on Kellogg's cereal boxes.


Families are the targets of this concerted effort from Disney and Kellogg.


"Kids are the ones that are eating the cereal, so kids are going to be the ones interacting with the content, but it's moms who purchase the cereal," Disney's Sherlock said.


Kellogg, Battle Creek, MI, could not be reached for comment.


This is the first time Disney has put a movie property on a cereal product. Kellogg has expertise in co-branded sites with movie studios. Last fall, it partnered with Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment for "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" movie.


But Disney thinks it brings a lot to the table with this Atlantis online promotion.


"Kellogg's is looking for a way to extend their brand," Sherlock said. "Online storytelling and content development is not Kellogg's core competency. They're a great packaged-goods company but they came to Disney for help."


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