Corporate Eye

Brands Turn Heads and Build Business in New York’s Times Square

Earlier this week, I wrote a post about brand museums and factories that have become popular tourist destinations.  Had I written that post a few years ago, Kellogg’s may have been on it, but the company’s Cereal City USA in Battle Creek, Michigan never drew the attendance levels it needed to survive (it closed in 2007).  However, just because Cereal City USA wasn’t a huge hit doesn’t mean that Kellogg’s was ready to give up on creating branded experiences for consumers.

Enter New York City’s Times Square, which has become a brand hot spot over the past decade with more companies investing in unique retail locations there after seeing brands like FAO Schwartz and M&M’s succeed in drawing large crowds.  This month, Kellogg’s jumped on the bandwagon by opening a store and cafe dedicated to a brand that has held a place in American pop culture for decades.

Welcome to Pop Tarts World.


Pop Tarts World started off with a bang.  Already, 1,500-2,000 consumers visit Pop Tarts World per day where they can buy branded merchandise and taste unique Pop Tarts-inspired menu items.  According to BrandWeek, Zeta Interactive has been tracking the performance on Pop Tarts World online, and already positive Pop Tarts brand buzz online has grown from 74% to 88% less than two weeks since the store opened.  Furthermore, the Kellogg’s brand has also seen a boost in the positive online buzz of 6%.

And that’s not all.  The Pop Tarts Facebook page grew from 1.8 million to 2 million people within two weeks with people not just visiting but also actively joining the conversation, uploading pictures of themselves at Pop Tarts World, and more.  The online popularity of Pop Tarts has even surpassed brands like Wheaties, Cheerios, Frosted Flakes, and Quaker Oats — some of the dominant players in the breakfast foods segment in the United States.

Consumers love branded experiences that are either useful or entertaining (or both).  Pop Tarts World is a perfect example of an entertaining branded experience.  Not only that, but it’s also an example of a branded experience that people can share.  Pop Tarts, entertainment, shared experiences that can be shared further through branded social web destinations — it’s a recipe for success.

What do you think?  Will you stop into Pop Tarts World next time you’re in midtown Manhattan?

Image: Flickr

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.