2014 may be the Year of the Horse according to the Chinese zodiac, but it's the year of Team Fruity and Team Cocoa as far as Post Foods is concerned.
Post is launching a friendly competition between its Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles brands to see which cereal is most popular among fans and is asking kids to choose #TeamFruity or #TeamCocoa.
The brand says online and mobile competitions from January to September will rally support for each flavor. However, Jennifer Mennes, director of media and public relations for Post Cereal, hopes the effort is "an evergreen platform" that lives on and evolves after September.
Fans will be able to declare their love for their favorite flavor by visiting a microsite and downloading an app that encourages them to vote, take photos and play games. The microsite, which is a "light" version of the upcoming app, launches January 6. The app will be available February 10 for both iPhone and Android devices.
According to Post, fans will be asked to complete challenges like making team spirit items such as pennants out of Pebbles boxes and sharing them through Instagram, with the hashtag #TeamFruity or #TeamCocoa.
According to Mennes, the app "creates an ongoing conversation with our fans around missions they can participate in, games they can play and contests they can enter into throughout the year and creates a story around, ‘Are you on Team Fruity or Team Cocoa?'"
The move comes as children are migrating more to mobile devices, she adds.
In addition, WWE Superstar John Cena will return to the front of Fruity Pebbles boxes and will serve as captain for Team Fruity and NBA All Star Kyrie Irving will take his "long-time love for Cocoa Pebbles to the next level" by appearing on Post Cocoa Pebbles boxes as captain of Team Cocoa, Post says. The specially branded boxes will be on store shelves in mid-January, Mennes says.
Each team captain is also drumming up support for a nonprofit. Cena will be raising awareness for Hire Heroes USA, an organization dedicated to creating job opportunities for military veterans and their spouses; Team Cocoa will help Irving reach out to middle schools, high schools and the larger community to help educate people about the unique skills and needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through the nonprofit Best Buddies.
"What we know is that for our Pebbles fans and loyalists, they really gravitate toward either Fruity or Cocoa and we thought, ‘Why not have a friendly competition to elevate both flavors under one master brand platform to really help elevate them both behind Team Pebbles?'" Mennes says.
The campaign targets six- to eleven-year-olds, which Mennes says is "really the sweet spot of who is consuming the product."
She notes the games and app are geared to that age group, as well as to create fun and engagement.
In addition to the competition, the brand is expanding its social media presence beyond Facebook to Twitter and Instagram.
Mennes says the Twitter handles -- @GoTeamFruity and @GoTeamCocoa -- are "just getting launched" and will go live in mid-January.
Pebbles Cereal has 141,000 likes on Facebook.
Meet Your Favorite ClickZ Contributors
Many of ClickZ's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Jeremy Hull, Lisa Raehsler, Andrew Goodman, Bryan Eisenberg, Mathew Sweezey, Aaron Kahlow, Stephanie Miller, Simms Jenkins, Jeanne S. Jennings, Dave Hendricks and more!
Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
March 19, 2014