How many hours did we spend stretched out on the living room floor or crashed on the couch watching Saturday morning cartoons? And how many thousands of ads for breakfast cereal did we take in, often while consuming the very product that was being hawked?
When I think back on television ads, it seems that a majority of them were for cereals. I watched a lot of TV that was aimed at kids, and the cereal manufacturers knew that they didn’t have to impress our moms. They just needed to make us kids want the products, and we would nag and cajole the rest of the way to the ultimate goal of a sale at the supermarket.
Sugar Bear was a very familiar face. Once the diminutive ursine had a bowl of Super Sugar Crisp, there was nothing he couldn’t accomplish, including bailing Grannie Goodwitch (voice of Ruth Buzzi) out of jams.
But it wasn’t just Sugar Crisp. We were exhorted by Tony the Tiger to enjoy Kellog’s Sugar Frosted Flakes. And if you can’t remember what Tony the Tiger said, you have no business reading this. 😉
The Honeycomb Kid would ride a white horse to persuade us to purchase the strangely-shaped cereal that would hold its crispness in milk. And purchase it we, or rather our harried mothers, did, in large numbers. Honeycomb was good for munching right out of the box while Leave it to Beaver was on after school.
Man, no wonder I had a mouth full of fillings by the time I was a teenager.
Then there were the Smack Brothers. Their routine went thusly:
Oh give me a smack, a wonderful smack . . .
The singer is punched by his sibling.
And since you’re me brudder, I’ll give you anudder!
Now keep this in mind. I have viewed lots of commercials on YouTube. But I haven’t heard this particular Sugar Smacks commercial since it last aired on network television, probably around 1970.
That is some testament to the power of commercials on kids.
Tune in tomorrow as we spend some more time dusting off some old breakfast cereal ads from our childhoods.