Is that cereal box character looking right at your kid?

Is that cereal box character looking right at your kid?

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In the great debate over what cereal to buy a child, there is heavy competition to get kids to pay attention. Seeing the cereal in a TV commercial may just be a piece of the puzzle.

New research from Cornell Food and Brand Lab finds cereal marketed to children sits half as high as adult cereal on supermarket shelves. And those cartoon characters' gazes are often at a downward angle, looking right into a child's eye.

What does it all mean? Dr. Aner Tal, a research associate, said that characters making eye contact with consumers creates trust in that brand. He said it is unclear if marketers are specifically directing the eyes at a child, but he points out adult cereals often have characters that look straight ahead. And many items in a grocery store are placed in a spot so you'll be more inclined to buy. Tal said it is also a lesson for healthy brand cereal makers who could use a similar sight strategy.

For a healthy conscious parent, that might sound great.

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