A Breakfast Mess

Oooh!  The prize is a naked picture of Wilma!

Oooh! The prize is a naked picture of Wilma!

There are breakfast cereals out there marketed to adults, and there are breakfast cereals out there marketed to kids.  How can you tell which is which?  Well, there are two ways.  First, if the picture on the box looks like a bowl full of shredded cardboard, it’s probably cereal for adults.  Second, if one or more cartoon characters are present, it’s probably a cereal for kids.

Grandma probably wouldn't be able to chew this with her wooden teeth...

Grandma probably wouldn’t be able to chew this with her wooden teeth…

tuesday tvThere were so many different ad campaigns going on in the 80’s surrounding kids cereals, I could do a year’s worth of Tuesday posts about them.  For my first TV Commercial Tuesday tribute to a balanced breakfast, I chose one of the best remembered and longest lasting gags in the sugar coated oats industry… that for Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles.

Post introduced these two cereals back in 1971, and they were revolutionary in being one of the first products ever designed around a licensed character.  If you lived through the 80’s, you know that just about every cartoon character had their own cereal (see above) in a pathetic attempt to cash in on their popularity.  While they’ve all come and gone, Fred Flintstone’s Pebbles are still on store shelves forty years later…

Unfortunately, Bam-Bam is now more demographically pleasing than an old caveman...

Unfortunately, Bam-Bam is now more demographically pleasing than an old caveman…

One of the hallmarks of the commercials for Pebbles cereal is Barney trying to get at Fred’s bowl of Pebbles with every bad cartoon disguise gag in the book.  These ads usually began with Barney saying, “Watch while I trick Fred!” and ended with Barney being found out and Fred exclaiming, “Barney!!!  MY Pebbles!!!”  These ads were at their best in the 80’s, and here’s a brief montage of them….

As cute and funny as this campaign was, at least to us kids, it did beg a few questions… like why couldn’t Barney just go out and buy his own box of Pebbles?  I think the answer to this is obvious… quick, do you remember what Barney’s occupation was in The Flintstones?

Corruptor of youth?

Corruptor of youth?

Yeah… I can’t come up with it either.  It wasn’t exactly brought up in the original series, and that leads me to believe Barney was slumming the unemployment line… probably making Betty walk the street for cig money.  This likely explains why Barney kept trying to pull out all the stops to steal food from his gainfully employed best friend.

But Fred, being the fine, upstanding WASP he was back in the 60’s was having none of that shit.  Fred undoubtedly voted for Goldwater, and he wasn’t about to be doling out handouts to some lowlife bum who didn’t want to earn his keep… even if it was his BFF.  This is the only possible explanation for why Fred is such a stingy-ass about his precious cereal, and has a conniption fit if anyone so much as chews on a single blob of his fruityliciousness.

Plus, he was also likely tripping on an overdose of these, as most kids were back in the 80's.

Plus, he was also likely tripping on an overdose of these, as most kids were back in the 80’s.

So there you have it… a peek into the dynamics that brought us one of breakfast’s most notorious confrontations.  Join us next week, as we delve into the perplexing logic the evil kids were using to starve that silly rabbit to death…

Cruelty to animals is apparently fine in the cartoon world...

Cruelty to animals is apparently fine in the cartoon world…

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About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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31 Responses to A Breakfast Mess

  1. merbear74 says:

    LMFAO. I swear we have to be related, are you sure your not really my slightly younger brother? “All he wants is some fucking cereal!!” Brilliant!

  2. C.K. Hope says:

    Holy shit, you’re right! Barney was a moocher! (and the Trix rabbit … LMAO! Exactly!)

  3. It’s funny how kids are usually pretty observant, but don’t recognize how fucked up some of the ads aimed at them really are!

  4. I buy Flintstone vitamins for my guy, but he doesn’t know who that is. Oh well!

    • Now that I think about it…. I haven’t seen The Flintstones in about 20 years. Yet its funny how they have survived as a popular cereal and a vitamin. No such love for The Jetsons….

  5. The Cutter says:

    It seemed like most of the cereal commercials involved people trying to steal someone else’s cereal. I’m surprised more kids didn’t fight each other over cereal because of it.

  6. I loved the Flintstones, we actually got them over here but not the cereal or adds. “Old caveman!” that’s hilarious.

  7. PigLove says:

    “Trix are for kids you silly wabbit!” PLOL. Mom showed that one to me on YouTube – hilarious! Mom remembers those commercials about Fred and Barney. You’re right – Barney was a moocher! – Snort. Can you believe mom still eats Cocoa Pebbles from time to time? She lets me have some every once in a while – not enough for this little piggy.
    Oh and by the way – we had a huge laugh at the Hotel Thompson this past weekend about cereal. I can’t remember the brand name, I’ll have to do some research. But on the box it stated, “Parents – like us on FACEBOOK” Underneath that, it said, “Most be 14 years or older”. Snort – PLOL XOXO – Bacon

    • LOL! Now the cynic like me would just say that proves that Facebook is nothing but a marketing shill…. but the comedian in me would want to know why parents under the age of 14 are being discriminated against!

  8. fransiweinstein says:

    OMG these commercils belong in the advertising hall of shame

  9. jrosenberry1 says:

    This was so funny!
    Not only were the commercials … um …. messed up … but some were outright scary too. o.O
    No obligations here, just a tip of the hat in your direction, but this post is coming out tomorrow at 10 — hope you get a few new visitors. http://jrosenberry1.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/choices/
    Keep us laughing! We need it!

  10. jrosenberry1 says:

    Sorry about that. I thought that I could provide the link and you’d be able to see it, but I guess you can’t, not until it’s “official” anyway. I usually make posts come out at about 10 PM (E.S.T.); so sorry about the mix-up on my end.

  11. pishnguyen says:

    I remember these!! Loved them as a kid, although I had to be very careful about how much milk I put into the bowl. Once they got all flimsy and lost their “natural” (not!) colors, I didn’t want to eat them any more. Truthfully, I’ve never outgrown kids’ cereal. I should probably be ashamed about that, but I’m not. Ha!

    I thought Barney worked at the quarry, too. Didn’t he and Fred go to work together in the opening montage for the cartoon? I don’t remember for sure, though, as it’s been a looong time since I last saw that cartoon.

    • I have a box of Alpha Bits within reach of my desk, so I can say nothing about adults eating kids cereal!

      I did a little research before this post to verify my being unable to recall Barney’s place of employment ever being revealed, and confirmed that it was indeed a mystery on the show. The Wiki page for Barney Rubble reveals there were a few random allusions to his workplace throughout the series, but no definite employer or occupation. I think most people just assumed he worked with at the same place Fred did, but his occupation certainly remained in the dark…

  12. Ha! First link I click is for Fruity Pebbles. Well done, my friend.

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