Cereal-based Entertainment

April 05, 2003 6PM PST

I don’t eat breakfast cereal. Or at least, I don’t anymore. I grew up with Rice Krispies and Cheerios, like any other kid, but I’ve long tired of it. In conversation this week I was reminded of my all–time favorite breakfast cereal, Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I had to have some, it was that simple.

So I was in the grocery store this afternoon, visting the cereal aisle for the first time in how long. And you know what they’ve started doing while I wasn’t looking? There were DVDs on the front of almost every box. The one I picked up, for example, contained “Reflections of Olympic Gold”, Episode 3.

Three episodes of this [deadpans:] serial so far, with undoubtedly more on the way. With licensed content (maybe even commissioned?) and a few cents of cheap plastic, General Mills has begun selling entertainment along with their product.

If you’ve read the wonderful No Logo by Naomi Klein, this shouldn’t be a surprise. Corporate sponsorship and patronage of the arts has recently repositioned so drastically, that events are no longer about the artists but the brand behind them.

Is this the future of entertainment? Will creative endeavours be forced to partner with a product, selling licenses to their material instead of selling the material directly to the consumer? Will I need to buy a bag of Doritos to get my Simpsons fix? The ever–pervasiveness of marketing is starting to take some really strange forms.