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Printing on a Pringle

There's no doubt that Pringles are irresistible. But did you know they will soon be informative as well?

Maybe informative might be too strong of a word, but Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG  ) has come up with an innovative process to place images and text on the surface of Pringles potato chips -- or should that be crisps (I always forget). So now a person can spy one message or other before she downs the next victim from the canister.

According to the release, first up will be a promotion involving one of Hasbro's (NYSE: HAS  ) popular board games, "Trivial Pursuit Junior." Questions from that brand will be featured on the crisps, along with the answers, of course. (Actually, P&G should consider placing the questions in one canister of crisps and the answers in another canister to double sales -- as well as the anger level of consumers, I suppose). The launch of this initiative is scheduled for summertime.

It won't stop there, obviously. This will only be the tip of the iceberg. All kinds of advertisements could be placed on the product. Certainly, a Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) or a Fox (NYSE: FOX  ) will find a use for this foodstuff medium, since it not only represents a new high-volume consumer category to cross-promote with, but it comes with successful precedent; Disney has licensed images of its characters to be placed on candy bars, for example.

Perhaps Sony (NYSE: SNE  ) could plan ahead regarding the marketing plans for Spiderman 3 and place the Spidey logo on Pringles snacks since it ran into so much trouble attempting to place it at the ballpark. Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS  ) might want to promote the next MVP baseball game on the little edibles. Heck, if P&G can figure a way to get the printing really small, Janus Capital Group (NYSE: JNS  ) could distribute prospectuses of its mutual funds in this fashion (or notices of such events as its recent settlement).

OK, that last one was just for fun. The link between consumer staples and advertising is not new, but I think the idea of utilizing actual Pringle crisps to target specific demographics as well as mass-market audiences is one that could be leveraged down the line to supply incremental value for the brand. I'd also be willing to bet that PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP  ) and its Frito Lay unit will eventually seek to exploit this novelty.

I, for one, will be first in line at the supermarket checkout when this rollout from P&G begins. (Fool readers are now wondering whether or not I actually have a life. Sadly, so am I).

Electronic Arts is aMotley Fool Stock Advisorrecommendation. Check out the newsletter for six months, risk-free.

Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns shares of Disney, and he can't wait to first read, then eat a Pringle.


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7/26/2016 2:04 PM
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HAS $80.59 Down -0.56 -0.69%
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