Snap, Cackle and Pop. Tony the Tiger. Sonny the Cuckoo Bird. These are few of the long running cereal mascots you’ve seen cavorting on your television set since you were a tyke. Cheerios on the other hand never seemed to have a permanent campaign. They tried a lot of different approaches, many of them involving the “spinach” technique (Eat our cereal and you will be able to bench press two elephants at the same time!) Let’s take a look at a few of ‘em…
Starting off we have this adult-type spot. Big brassy music accompanies the stylized graphics. Produced by Elektra Films with animation by Jack Schnerk.
Bullwinkle – William Tell
A “Bullwinkle’s Corner” spot featuring some inspired animation by Bill Littlejohn. Bill Scott is Bullwinkle. Produced by Jay Ward.
Jackson Beck is the featured voice artist here. Notice that Odie Cologne does not speak. Likely this is to avoid the added cost of having Allen Swift attend the recording. Produced and directed by Gerry Ray.
Simon Bar-Sinister attempts to hideously disfigure all the Cheerios in the world. Featuring the voices of Allen Swift, Norma MacMillan, and Wally Cox. A P.A.T. production. Animation by Gamma Productions.
I assume that last line means that there is no part two of this commercial. To find out how it ends, you’re supposed to buy a box of Cheerios, and if the holes are still there, that means Underdog stopped the sinister plot.
Aesop and Son
From Jay Ward Productions with animation by Gerard Baldwin. This spot is unusual for the fact that Daws Butler not only voices Junior, but Aesop as well (Normally radio/ television actor Charlie Ruggles provides his voice.)
Cheerios Kid – Rocket
The Cheerios Kid had been worked and reworked a few dozen times by almost as many studios over a period of several decades. General Mills’ advertising agency Dancer-Fitzgerald-Sample could never seem to settle on an approach. In this 1964 spot by Lars Calonius, they tried making him into an imbecile.
Cheerios Kid – Bullwinkle – Rowing
Jay Ward produced a series of spots with the Kid as Bullwinkle’s coach. Ben Washam animated this one.