Blog #12: Breakfast Cereal Mascots

It’s what attracted us as kids to eat cereal; half of it was to find the most sugar-filled cereal possible, and the other half was the connection we had with the brand of cereal.  As children (and even as adults), who doesn’t remember Frosted Flakes, Fruit Loops, Trix, Captain Crunch, and Lucky Charms?  These five brands are well known for children because they were boxed up in colorful boxes, but their mascot was also just as colorful.  Tony the Tiger, Toucan Sam, the Trix Rabbit, Cap’n Crunch, and Lucky the Leprechaun, respectively, were are animated so vividly and were colored in sync with their respective cereal.  The colors matched, each mascot had commercials that had animated characters, and the brand became more famous because of this.

Tony The Tiger

Tony the Tiger officially became Frosted Flakes’s official mascot in 1952 and competed against several other potentials.  A graphic designer won the contest that competed against an elephant, a kangaroo, and a Gnu.  The animated tiger had commercials where he testified that Frosted Flakes were “GREEAAATTT!”  The look of Tony the Tiger also added to the success: looking like a healthy lion with a bandana around his neck, Tony usually was surrounded by children in the commercials while performing athletic activities.  Something that usually helped consumers, considering Frosted Flakes comprised of lots of sugar…

Toucan Sam

Toucan Sam came to the spotlight in 1963 and became Fruit Loop’s mascot, which minimal changes since then.  The way he appears has changed, but very subtlety.  The colors around his beak changed from being two pink stripes, to feature stripes that match the color of the cereal (red, orange, and yellow).  Toucan Sam also had a motto during his commercials (“Follow my nose!”) and was famously voiced by Mel Blanc, the same person who voiced Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and various other famous characters.

Trix

The Trix Rabbit doesn’t have his own unique name, but has been the mascot for Trix cereal since 1959.  He looks like a regular rabbit, but is unique compared to his other cereal mascot colleagues: he never actually can eat the cereal.  Famously known as always chasing after his Trix, but always failing, the Trix Rabbit was known to dress up in lavish outfits to disguise himself from the children taking his cereal.  Even though the cereal itself had to lower its sugar content because it was too high, its fame hadn’t lowered.

Captain Crunch

Cap’n Crunch (full name: Horatio Magellan Crunch) was the mascot and brand for the Captain Crunch cereal, which was a spin-off of the Quaker Oats oatmeal brand.  Since 1963, Cap’n Crunch was the face for the cereal and would reward the children in the commercial with his cereal and “crunch-a-tize.”  Looking like a younger, more colorful, and more modern version of the Quaker Oats brand, Cap’n Crunch was the face of the Captain Crunch brand that produced more than 20 versions of the original cereal.

Lucky

Lucky the Leprechaun was created in 1963 to be the face of Lucky Charms because they wanted to have a mascot that paralleled with the 1960s feel in society.  The “charm” came about with the attraction of charm bracelets, and the Scottish Lucky was a different kind of mascot that attracted a new audience.  He wore the clothes that was believed to be worn by leprechauns, and would always sing a famous song throughout his commercials showcasing his marshmallow pieces in his cereal.

Breakfast Cereal Club

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5 responses to “Blog #12: Breakfast Cereal Mascots

  1. Grrrrrreat Post! I am right with you; what great points to make about the cereal art. Their transition from box to commercials to animations to products were wildly successful. I am a product of the generation that LOVED reading cereal boxes every morning. I can say, that they were a form of entertainment then. I wonder how much Tupperware is to blame for the growing disinterest (of course along with mass and social media). When Tupperware & competitors sold millions of containers to keep our cereal ‘fresher,’ the boxes ended up in the trash all too quickly…

  2. Animated mascots are the main way for companies to draw the attention of kids. Their bright colors and costumes do the job, after all parents would not usually be the ones to purchase it for themselves. So the companies use the characters to get the kids, who force their parents to buy the cereal. But hey, it works.

  3. I do think that the mascot itself is a very underrated aspect of the marketing campaign for these cereals. I can think of fairly recently Cookie Crisp changing its mascot from a dog to a wolf for reason I can only imagine had to do with marketing and audience reaction to them. The fact that these mascots have lasted as long as they have and have become as iconic as they have is really a testament to the strong design and general appeal of the characters on both the box and in the commercials

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