I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Saturday mornings are just not the same as an adult as they were when I was a child.
In fact, some of my cherished memories of Saturday mornings involved sitting on the floor of my living room in front of the television watching Saturday morning cartoons. As much as I wish that I could go back in time to those carefree days, I know that I can't.
I mean, yes, there are quite a few cable channels that play hundreds of cartoons that I watched when I was a kid. There's Cartoon Network, Boomerang, and Teletoon Retro. But there was just something special about getting up early in the morning and watching the latest adventures of The Smurfs, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Garfield and his friends.
Of course, no Saturday morning would be complete without a complete, nutritious breakfast...well, nutritious through the eyes of a child, that is.
And what could be better fuel for a marathon cartoon session than a big bowl of cereal sweetened with enough sugar to fill a hundred Hershey bars?
Yes, this blog entry isn't so much about a particular Saturday morning cartoon. Instead, this blog entry is about some of the sugary cereals that I used to enjoy as a child...as well as the commercials that aired during Saturday mornings that would inspire many trips to the grocery store with me begging my mom to buy said cereal because I saw it on television.
You see, back in the 1970s and 1980s, cereal commercials were works of art. I remember some kids enjoyed watching the cereal commercials almost as much as some of the cartoons that aired in that time period. So, allow me to use this blog entry for today to talk about some of my favourite cereal commercials.
Shall we begin?
One of my favourite cereals growing up was Cocoa Pebbles. They also made Fruity Pebbles as well, but I didn't like those as much. Looking back on it, Cocoa Pebbles weren't really that spectacular of a cereal, it was just chocolate flavoured bits of grain. The main reason why I had to have it most Saturday mornings was because of Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble. When I was younger, a particular television station used to air old episodes of The Flintstones during my lunch hour, and I loved them. So, to see Barney constantly stealing Fred's cereal through a variety of tricks and disguises on Saturday were an added bonus. Just take a look at some examples of some of these commercials below to see what I mean.
You see? To some people, they were simply commercials. For me, they were thirty-second cartoons that featured some of my favourite cartoon characters ever.
But cereal commercials have told dozens of stories for several decades. How about the classic Life cereal commercial featuring Mikey that first aired 40 years ago in 1972?
Would you believe that the little kid that played Mikey was at the center of an urban legend where he supposedly died after a deadly combination of pop rocks and Coca-Cola? It was all a hoax, and John Gilchrist (who played Mikey) is still very much alive. But the commercial was very effective, even winning a Clio Award in 1974!
Cereal commercials also made cereal mascots huge stars, and as time passed, these mascots ended up becoming just as popular as the characters who actually had their own 30-minute programs. And, who are some of the most popular cereal mascots?
Well, how about Lucky the leprechaun who has been the official “Lucky Charms” mascot since 1963? His commercials were always magically delicious.
Or, if you wanted something else that was more grrrrrrrreat, how about Tony the Tiger? Thurl Ravenscroft was the voice behind Frosted Flakes' mascot for several decades, and since 1951, this beloved tiger has starred in well over one hundred commercials. Take a look at this one below.
Frosted Flakes are currently made by Kellogg's, which have cereal mascots for every one of their cereals. Take Froot Loops for example. Froot Loops boasted a rather colourful mascot to match the colourful cereal, and that mascot is Toucan Sam. Have a look at a Froot Loops commercial below, though I'll readily admit that it wasn't one of my favourites.
Sticking with the Kellogg's theme, I'd have to say that one of the first cereals that I remember eating was the classic “Rice Krispies”. I used to love the way that the cereal used to make those crackling noises whenever milk was poured over top of it...which likely inspired the names of the trio that appear in its commercials. Can you say, snap, crackle, pop?
Another cereal mascot that was a common fixture during the Saturday morning cartoon block was Cap'n Crunch, which have been on store shelves since 1963. During the 1980s, seeing Cap'n Crunch commercials were always an entertaining experience, because during that time, Cap'n Crunch would launch an all-out assault against the “Soggies”, slimy white blobs (resembling milk) that threatened to make all the cereal in the world soggy. Each commercial was like watching a thrilling cartoon adventure, and I loved the cereal just as much as the commercials. Let's watch a couple right now, shall we?
Finally, I can't end this look back on cereal mascots without listing the one cereal mascot who could never seem to catch a break. A cereal mascot who was always denied the one thing that he wanted to have the most...all because of six simple words.
“Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!”
Yes, the Trix rabbit just wanted to have his share of lemony yellow and grapity purple Trix cereal, but was cruelly denied even so much as one measly orangy orange morsel. I would have gladly given him some of my Trix cereal. Truth be told, the one and only time I had Trix, I hated it. I felt bad for the bunny, as evidenced in these commercials.
But wait...would you believe that there were some instances in which the Trix bunny ended up getting his feed of Trix cereal? Apparently there were a couple of contests where kids were encouraged to mail in the ballots included on “box tops”, voting on whether they thought the rabbit should eat Trix. And, well, here's one of the results.
Hey, had to end the blog off with a feel good moment, right?
BONUS QUESTION: Who are some of your favourite cereal mascots, and what cereal commercials do you remember the most?