February 8, 2014 posted by Mike Kazaleh

Flintstones Oddball Advertising

The Flintstones cartoon show premiered in 1960, and the characters have been popular ever since. With great popularity comes great demand to be a product spokesman. The Flintstones have appeared in commercials for everything from cigarettes to vitamins. I personally have animated dozens spots for Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles, cereals that I would only buy if I really, REALLY wanted the toy inside. Even then, I would try to give the stuff away to my neighbors, which should give you an idea what I think of my neighbors.

Let’s take a look at a few of the more unusual advertising films featuring our favorite cavemen…

Aurora Toys

I’m not certain of the exact date, but this sales film is probably from around 1970. With the surprise success of its Skittle Bowl game, Aurora made the disastrous decision to enter the toy market. A look at the toys in this film may give you a clue as to why this venture ended so badly.

Produced by Hanna-Barbera, you can see some of the usual Flintstones animators including Jerry Hathcock, Bill Keil, and Irv Spence (Rascally Bill Keil actually snuck his name into one scene!)

Busch 1967 Advertising

Actor Gerald Mohr narrates this infamous sales film for Anheuser/Busch. A lot could be written about it but I’ll try to keep this short. The film is about the company’s new “Target Advertising” meaning that they intend to make a lot of money from a relatively small group of people. What people? The “Frequent Beer Drinker” of course. According to this film that means “The 20% of beer drinkers who consume 80% of the beer” or to put it in another fashion, alcoholics. Take a look at some of the horrifying samples of the live-action spots shown within, and all will become clear. I strongly suspect that Busch’s advertising agency wrote the script for the entire film.

Another Hanna-Barbera production. More H&B regulars appear among them Carlo Vinci, Hugh Frasier, George Geopper, Ed Love, and Ken Muse. The sequence showing animation of our present society was likely designed by Bob Dranko. Note that Fred Flintstone impersonates Jackie Gleason’s “Joe the Bartender” character in one scene!

Part 1:

Part 2:

Fruity Monster

Kids like monsters, right? I’ll bet they would just LOVE to see their favorite cartoon characters turn all hairy and nasty. UPDATE: Scott Shaw! says this one was done by Ray Favata at Tempo in NYC.

Cocoa Court

Fred finally presses charges against the cereal stealin’ Barney Rubble! Featuring the titanium tonsils of Gary Owens as the Judge. Produced by Playhouse Pictures. Directed by Gerry Woolery. Storyboard and layouts by Scott Shaw! Animation by Mark Kausler, Todd Shaffer, and myself.


  • I think those Flintstone Monster Pebbels commercials were animated at Charlton Comics. 😉

  • Mike, I am told that Bill White did storyboard work on the pebbles ads for Scott Shaw!. do you have any idea which pebbles spots they might be?

    • I always did my own shoot boards for the commercials that Post approved, but there were seven or eight “pitch” boards for every one that got the green light. I hired Bill to do some “pitch” boards that I had already sketched at a smaller size but don’t recall which ones they were. Sorry.

  • I know this doesn’t count as advertising, but how about that half-hour PSA film about energy consumption and that classic song, “A Barrel of Oil A Day?”

  • Mike,
    I’d be curious for the budgets that they had for these.

  • The “Fruity Monster” Pebbles commercials are rather amusing, in that they are practically the Flintstones equivalent of a low-budget 70s B-monster movie.

  • This article is good but it is incomplete. It doesn’t have the Winston commercial, which is the single-most notorious Flintstones related commercial.

    • Mike’s goal wasn’t to be a completeist but to be interesting, and he certainly succeeded at that. Besides, everyone’s already seen the “Winstones” spot so why duplicate it here?

    • “Mike’s goal wasn’t to be a completeist but to be interesting, and he certainly succeeded at that. Besides, everyone’s already seen the “Winstones” spot so why duplicate it here?”

      Lord knows I wasn’t asking for it Scott, people just assume that’s all there needs to be.

  • Eteed, At Ogilvy & Mather, I’d sometimes have a dozen or more presentation storyboards to draw and color in less than 48 hours. These were not “shoot”/production storyboards, which I always drew myself. But in such cases, wherein the boards were merely being used to show the themes to kids in focus groups, I often called in someone to tighten up my thumbnail roughs. Bill White occasionally helped me out on these, working from my rough sketches, but so did such cartoonists as Scott Jeralds, Jerry Eisenberg, Owen Fitzgerald, Carolyn Kelly, Gary Fields, Mike Kazaleh, Phil Ortiz and others. But again, I always did the art direction, storyboards, character and prop designs, layouts, color guides and often the writing of any Pebbles spot that went into production. Mike Kazaleh was always my very favorite animator to work with, mainly because he draws funny and loves the Flintstones almost as much as I do.

    • Nice touch having Bill and Joe sitting in the jury box!

    • Scott,
      Much thanks for sharing this information!

      And speaking of Owen Fitzgerald, Bill White told me that he also worked with Mr. Fitzgerald. Owen Fitzgerald is one of my all time favorite cartoonists, and I can only imagine what a thrill it must have been to work with him. his art on DC’s “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” is my most favorite of all his works (that I’ve seen). furthermore, I deem “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” one of the finest comic book series ever made; the book length stories were skillfully written, and Owen Fitzgerald’s art was flawless.

  • I hadn’t seen that Aurora trade show spot before. The toy division didn’t last very long. There was much hoopla about having HB as a licensee, but the only actual HB related product made by Aurora (that I am aware of) was the now scarce and very expensive Banana Splits “Banana Buggy” model kit. HB models are now licensed by Round 2/Polar Lights (they made the Jetsons Car and the Mystery Machine kits) and they specialize in re-issuing old Aurora kits. So perhaps we might see the “Banana Buggy” once again.

  • Nice commercials. Have hated Pebbles cereal, cocoa or fruity, since I was a kid. The commercials for the stuff were always fun, though. And if it wasn’t for the cereal I’m not sure kids my daughter’s age would know who Fred Flintstone was. Maybe Bugs Bunny and Popeye need cereals.

    • I’m so much the opposite though, I still enjoy the stuff!

    • Actually, Popeye cereal has been around since at least the mid-1980’s. It came in plastic bags; the kinds I remember seeing were Puffed Rice, Puffed Wheat, and Sweet Puffs (which was like Sugar Smacks). I still have a set of Popeye magnets that I got by mailing in proofs of purchase from Popeye Puffed Wheat in 1985.

    • Actually, Popeye cereal has been around since at least the mid-1980′s. It came in plastic bags; the kinds I remember seeing were Puffed Rice, Puffed Wheat, and Sweet Puffs (which was like Sugar Smacks). I still have a set of Popeye magnets that I got by mailing in proofs of purchase from Popeye Puffed Wheat in 1985.

      Oh, I remember that! My mom use to buy those cereals since (just like Malt-O-Meal’s own brands today), they were cheaper.

  • I remember seeing the Aurora “Whoops” commercial a lot (with the band members playing the game instead of Barney), but none of the others. Did they ever reach market and/or television?

    Even then, I suspected the New Generation band was supposed to be part of a larger campaign. They just never turned up after that one spot.

    • Bothering to look online, while I suppose much could be said that Aurora tried in that vain, I can’t help but think some of those games I would’ve loved to have had, had I known they existed (that Skittle-Bowl looked pretty cool). Now I see these things fetch up top dollar on eBay, go figure!


    • Actually, Skittle Bowl is just a version of a traditional British pub game, skittles. In a “A Hard Day’s Night,” Ringo sets his beer down on one and it’s promptly smashed by the swinging ball. You should be able to find a set pretty easily.

    • DBenson- That is true. In fact, it was Derek Brand, an engineer at Aurora and an Englishman, who suggested that they manufacture an inexpensive version of the old pub game.

  • Chunks of the Bud film played like parody or even anti-drinking spots (especially the soothing female hand). I know this was for an inside audience in ’67, but even they might have felt they were being mocked by Fred and Barney constantly resorting to beer when unhappy or bored — and finally using it to cloud Mr. Slate’s judgment.

    The commercials themselves, all playing off the theme of “might as well have a beer”, seem to presage some campaigns selling candy to adults. Crunch, Mounds, and Snickers all had ads where the candy offered some consolation (but no promises) after a comic setback.

  • Why is there no link to Animation Scoop in Mike Kazeleh’s posts?!!!

    I tire of always having to click to the home page to get that link.

    • Gosh, I’m so sorry you have to make an extra “click” to get to Animation Scoop. Boo Hoo…. 😥

      All kidding aside, thanks for pointing that out and I’m adding the link to the Scoop here and to Mike’s previous pages now. 😉

  • I remember visiting relatives in Rhode Island in the 1960s and seeing animated commercials on TV for a local bank called Old Stone Bank that featured Fred Flintstone as “spokesman.” They always ended with Fred yelling, “Yabba-dabba-doo, love that bank!” Anybody else from New England remember these, or know anything about them?

    • Yes, Old Stone Bank was around until the 80s or early 90s. Towards the end, the dropped Fred though. We had a couple on Aquidneck Island (Newport and Middletown RI) and in Bristol RI. I’m pretty sure I remember some in Providence as well.

  • Another fun ‘article’, Mike!!

    It’s your memory against mine, apparently . . but I remember pretty clearly working on that ‘Judge and Jury’ spot at Duck Soup, not Playhouse. I thought Sam Cornell directed that one.

    • Well, am I ever embarrassed. I dug out a tape of the commercial from my files, and you were right. You have a better memory than I do. The tape was a pencil test, and it was dated 06-18-01. I’d forgotten the year as well. Thanks, Dave!

    • You worked on FAR more of those Pebbles spots than I did, so you’re easily forgiven mixing up the dates and studios! It was a lot of fun for me working on those!

    • You were schooled Mike! (if that’s the right slang here)

      Notice lately they’ve been calling themselves “DUCK Studios”, I guess they want to be taken more serious than the pun-laden Duck Soup Produckions I enjoyed reading!

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