Study: Cereal Companies Use Eye Contact to Entice Kids

A Cornell University study found that many cereal mascots have eyes aimed at children to draw them in.
3:00 | 04/03/14

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Transcript for Study: Cereal Companies Use Eye Contact to Entice Kids
Now a story that could change the way you think about your breakfast right now. A new study finding those cartoon characters on cereal boxes could be enticing your kids at the grocery store and not in a way you might think. ABC's Mara schiavocampo has the details. Reporter: Here's looking at you, kids. That's the finding from a new Cornell university study revealing a possible secret weapon in marketing children's cereal. The characters on the box may be using their eyes to beckon your kids at the grocery store. Researchers say they found that far beyond the reach of their Saturday morning TV home turf, Tony Abbott the tiger -- They're gggreat. Reporter: Lucky the leprechaun. ? They're magically delicious." Reporter: -- May be using eye contact to entice kids in the aisle. Simply seeing eyes, even if it's a cartoon character draws a lot more attention. Reporter: Food marketing researcher Brian Wansing and his team looked at 57 different boxes and when they followed the eyes of toucan Sam, they had eyes angled downward aimed squarely kid high 48 inches and under. Trust level goes up about 18% if you make eye contact with anything and this is even simply a picture on a box but also increases your likelihood to want to purcha the cereal. Reporter: Scientists handed out two different versions of the boxes containing this iconic breakfast treat to college students and found that the students reported feeling 28% more connected to this version of the box's rabbit than this one. He says while the lingering gaze may be a coincidence most are depicted staring excitedly at their bowl of cereal, the effect is still capable of creating powerful urges. For "Good morning America," Mara schiavocampo, ABC news, new York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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