- General Mills cereal brand Cheerios became the exclusive sponsor of "NowThis Kids," a children-focused video news brand launched this week by Group Nine Media's "NowThis," a progressive news outlet aimed at millennials. "NowThis Kids" will target parents and kids with original content on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, per an announcement.
- On Mondays, 13-year-old activist Naomi Wadler will host an interview series focused on young people helping their communities, with episodes featuring a Cheerios "Good Goes Round" segment that provides tips on how parents can urge their children to help their communities. The episodes will be on the "NowThis Kids" channel on YouTube and on the "NowThis" pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
- On Wednesdays, Wadler and "NowThis" contributors host a 10-minute podcast for families to hear uplifting stories before school. On Fridays, "NowThis Kids" sends out an email newsletter with the week’s most important news about kids helping their communities, along with links to family-friendly content to watch together on the weekend.
As the exclusive sponsor of the new "NowThis Kids" digital news brand, Cheerios aims to reach children and their millennial parents with brand-safe content focused on positive themes like helping others. Millennials and Generation Z audiences tend to favor digital media over traditional channels like linear TV, making platforms like "NowThis" and its various brand extensions more likely to reach key consumer groups sought by packaged-foods companies like General Mills. Cheerios is one of the top 10 most trusted brands in America, per a survey by researcher Morning Consult, and its sponsorship of "NowThis Kids" can help to maintain that positive consumer sentiment toward the cereal brand.
"Now This" is the most-watched mobile news brand worldwide, according to Tubular Labs data cited by the news outlet. In the U.S., it reaches almost 70% of Americans in their twenties, with 64% of its monthly audience of 120 million people consisting of parents with children ages six to 11, per Nielsen data cited by "Now This." The platform's videos generate more than 2.6 billion a views a month, according to "Now This." As the platform cross-promotes its programming for kids and promotes viewership growth, Cheerios can reach a broader audience of younger viewers.
Mobile video consumption has increased worldwide in the past decade, and has seen significant growth during the coronavirus pandemic among consumers who use their smartphones for news, information and entertainment, or to keep in touch through social media. Video viewership on smartphones jumped 47% worldwide in Q2 from a year earlier, faster than the 29% growth for computers and 24% increase for tablets, per a study by video platform Brightcove. The shift to digital video may indicate that viewing habits have changed permanently, making the platforms more significant for marketers seeking to reach younger, tech-savvy audiences.
General Mills has seen elevated demand for cereals in the U.S. as pandemic lockdowns have led more people to eat at home rather than while on the way to work or school. U.S. cereal sales, which had been growing before the health crisis, surged 26% from a year earlier in its most recent quarter ended May 31. That growth helped to drive a 21% gain in revenue to $5.02 billion and a 10% gain in profit to $625.7 million, per its quarterly report.