Know about the strangest marketing campaign of the 1950’s

Years ago, Quaker Oats gave away millions of actual land deeds to customers in boxes of cereal. – Chantelle

Came across the story of one of the strangest marketing campaigns I’ve ever heard of. Years ago, Quaker Oats gave away millions of actual land deeds to customers in boxes of cereal. So in the 1950s, (1/13) 👇
the cereal industry was super competitive. It was the “Golden Age of Cereal.” There was an explosion of new cereals, esp designed w/ the goal of appealing to kids. Trix, Cocoa Puffs, Special K, Frosted Flakes, Corn Pops, Honey Smacks. All born in the ‘50s along with (2/13)
colorful, fun marketing mascots like Tony the Tiger. Establishing brand loyalty through stand-out marketing & advertising was the “sunshine that made the business plant grow,” according to cereal guru C.W. Post. And that’s the challenge faced by Quaker Oats and their (3/13)
a Mountie and his faithful husky saving the day in the Yukon. What if kids could own a tangible piece of that? Bruce proposed buying land in the Yukon territory and giving it away in Quaker boxes, just like the other little toys that (5/13)
Came in cereal boxes, but more original. “WTF are you thinking?” Brand execs scoffed. Their lawyer warned it would be a legal nightmare. Amazingly, after a little research and a trip to Canada to work out the logistics, it was determined that the idea just might work. (6/13)
The boxes sold out in a matter of weeks. The promo was featured in a TV game show where a contestant was flown out to pan for gold on their square-inch of land as a grand prize. And celebrities, like film star Mae West, were photographed proudly holding deeds. (9/13)
But very few checked the fine print. Customers didn’t notice that each deed holder was responsible for keeping up w/ the land taxes. Ten years after the promo launched, Canada repossessed all the land for about $37. (10/13)
Still, thousands of people have come forward since then asking about their land. The official response from Quaker is that the deeds never had any “intrinsic value,” just “romantic appeal.” Oddly, this wasn’t the first time Quaker gave away promotional land deeds. (11/13)
In the early 1900s, they gave away deeds to tiny plots of land in Milford, CT. The marketing was in partnership w/ a developer who wanted people to claim multiple plots of land and hire the dev to build them a house. That land, called Quaker lots, was also repossessed (12/13)
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