PRODUCT LICENSES WILL REMAIN IN SPOTLIGHT AT GENERAL MILLS

LOS ANGELES -- Entertainment licensing will continue to be an important component in the brand marketing plans of General Mills. Wayne Chilicki, manager of promotion innovation at the Minneapolis-based company, said, "General Mills definitely believes in licensing." He outlined his company's procedure in evaluating and using licenses here at the Star Power '96 entertainment marketing conference, sponsored

LOS ANGELES -- Entertainment licensing will continue to be an important component in the brand marketing plans of General Mills. Wayne Chilicki, manager of promotion innovation at the Minneapolis-based company, said, "General Mills definitely believes in licensing." He outlined his company's procedure in evaluating and using licenses here at the Star Power '96 entertainment marketing conference, sponsored by the Promotion Marketing Association of America, New York. According to Chilicki, General Mils uses three criteria to evaluate a license: · Is the licence strategic?: "Is it on target with our consumer?" Chilicki said. "Does it reinforce our marketing point of difference?"

· Will it excite our two customers?: "Will the retailer get excited and merchandise more of our product in the store? Will it motivate the consumer to purchase our product?"

· Will it break through the clutter?: "How can we use the license to break through the clutter in the marektplace? There are 200 brands in the [ready-to-eat] cereal aisle."

Budget determines the tactics used, according to Chilicki. "We use virtually every promotion tactic available -- in-packs, overlays, mail-ins, endorsements, product events and actual product."

He gave three examples of successful product licenses: Cheerios and "101 Dalmations," Pop Secret and "The Mask," and Clusters and "Seinfeld."

"As for communication of the offered property, we always use a package. It's really a billboard that is strong not only on the shelf, but is a constant reinforcement in the household. "Second, we consider TV advertising, either tagged or integrated," he said.