Monkeying Around

They aren't getting shit!

They aren’t getting shit!

tuesday tvI’ve already shown before in past Retro Ad Tuesday posts that there was perhaps no greater breeding ground for assholey behavior than in commercials for breakfast cereal.  They say that most cereals marketed towards kids are bad for you, since they are chock full of horribly non-nutritious ingredients like sugar, fat, Red Dye #6, and whatever toxic materials the Chinese make those free prizes out of.  However, if I were a parent, I’d be afraid to give my child a bowl of cereal for fear it might turn him into a stingy old breakfast Scrooge.


Don't make me gouge you with this spoon, Daddy!

Don’t make me gouge you with this spoon, Daddy!

In the early 90’s, Cocoa Krispies looked to capitalize on the enormous popularity of encouraging douchebaggery in its commercials, and rolled out a new mascot for its cereal… Coco the Monkey.  As cute as the name may have sounded, this simian made those flying sentries the Wicked Witch of the West had look like honor students.  Here was the debut commercial for Coco, and it set the tone for the many random acts of unkindness that were to come…

Coco swings through the trees, singing his little monkey heart out and taunting all of the other much more dangerous animals of the jungle by brandishing a box of chocolately cereal in front of them.  Then when they all corner him at a table, he still refuses to share his breakfast bounty with them… and they don’t do a damn thing about it!  I’m pretty sure if one of those wild animals was really hungry enough to want to eat a box of chocolate flavored cereal, they would also be hungry enough to chomp down on this spoiled brat.  If you don’t think he’s spoiled… how come he’s the only one in the jungle who’s wearing fucking clothes?

WTF?  He shops at Safeway AND Abercrombie and Fitch... in the jungle!?!?

WTF? He shops at Safeway AND Abercrombie and Fitch… in the jungle!?!?

Coco is a pretty brave little monkey to think he can get away with his selfish act out in the wild with many bigger and dangerous creatures roaming about.  Perhaps it’s because he has an Australian accent, and we’ve already mentioned before how that instantly makes you uber tough!  At least, I think it’s supposed to be an Aussie accent… though it sounds more like a British person trying to sound Australian.  Whatever it is, it makes this monkey badass enough to try the “you can’t have my cereal, nyah nyah!” trick with a pair of poisonous snakes, the king of the jungle, a damn dirty ape, a polar bear way out of its element, and um…. some giant birdlike thing.  I’d like to see him try this act on the streets of New Jersey…

Where's my fucking Cocoa Krispies, monkeyballs?  You're gonna be sleeping with the barracudas!

Where’s my fucking Cocoa Krispies, monkeyballs? You’re gonna be sleeping with the barracudas!

Despite his fearless adventures that make even Steve Irwin look like a girly man, Coco didn’t have a long career as the mascot for Cocoa Krispies.  After his numerous commercial adventures in the early 90’s, his appearances became fewer and farther between.  Perhaps this was because he finally ran out of luck and got mauled by a hooge poomah.  Or maybe it had something to do with the fact that kids weren’t eating Cocoa Krispies to begin with.  Who would want to eat a cereal that turns the milk in your bowl a chocolate brown color and reminds one of diarrhea?  Bon appetit!

Snap, crackle, poop!

Snap, crackle, poop!

Actually, the real reason Coco’s moment of cereal advertising stardom was so brief was because since it was first marketed in 1958, Cocoa Krispies has whipped through commercial mascots at a pace that would make even being the Cookie Crisp mascot seem like a steady job.  Spinal Tap didn’t go through as many drummers as Cocoa Krispies did cartoon characters…

First up was Jose the chimpanzee…



Jose didn’t even last a year on the job, and do you know why?  Because the Latino population raised a huge stink about him!  While that may not seem terribly shocking these days, keep in mind we’re talking about 1958 here… not exactly an era associated with political correctness.  You have to fail utterly hard at designing a mascot to have it successfully decried as racist in an era when people were still drinking from separate water fountains.

So after Jose got deported back to Oaxaca, Cocoa Krispies quickly filled the position in 1959 with Coco the Elephant.

It's Coco-LOSSAL!  And the chocolaty milk tastes even better mixed with elephant snot!

It’s Coco-LOSSAL! And the chocolaty milk tastes even better mixed with elephant snot!

The elephant either didn’t work out, or maybe just got sold to the circus because he was out the door in 1963.  That’s when Cocoa Krispies decided to turn to a compensated endorser who was already famous…

Mmmmm, these things won't be exiting stage left...

Mmmmm, these things won’t be exiting stage left…

After the creative geniuses at Cocoa Krispies failed twice, Kelloggs went out and hired Snagglepuss to sell the cereal.  That’s pretty much the definition of desperation when you are resorting to hiring outside fictional characters to endorse your products.

Apparently Snagglepuss began demanding more money to shill for chocolate flavored cereal, because five years later, he was replaced by… no, I am not kidding, a chocolate caveman.  At least he looks like a chocolate caveman.  You have to see this for yourself to believe it…

Ogg quickly became an advertising dinosaur, however, and in 1971 they went back to the elephant idea and created the ultra-lame Tusk.  Just thirteen years after the cereal was first introduced, Cocoa Krispies was now unveiling their FIFTH different mascot!  This is the kind of constant switcheroo you can only get away with when your target audience is kids, because every five years is like a new “generation”, and you can wipe the slate clean since the youngsters who used to follow you have now outgrown kid’s stuff in their teens.  It’s like the difference between being raised on Barney or the Teletubbies.

This way to the unemployment office!  Lalalalalalalala.....

This way to the unemployment office! Lalalalalalalala…..

With the exception of the brief transition to the ever-irritating Coco the Monkey in 1991, Cocoa Krispies executives finally just said “Fuck it!” and went with something that had worked for their sister cereal brand for many years.  And so these guys have been the official spokes-elves for Cocoa Krispies cereal for most of the last 30 years…

You may have heard of us when you pour that milk in your cereal!

You may have heard of us when you pour that milk in your cereal!

In the end, was it worth it for Cocoa Krispies to go to the greedy monkey Coco for a few years and capitalize on the proven maxim that bullying is the only way to sell breakfast cereal on TV?  Hell yes… because it gave me one more good topic on which to make my weekly Retro TV Ad post!  So thank you to the makers of Cocoa Krispies and all of those poor animals in the jungle who resisted the urge to lay waste to one of the most ill-mannered chimps outside of a Donkey Kong game.  We hoist our chocolatey milky spoons in your honor today, and vow to never ever share our cereal with anybody else in the world… no matter how big, bad, or hungry they may be…

We'll teach you "Sharing is Caring" even if we have to rip your monkey face off your head and shove it up your ass!!!

We’ll teach you “Sharing is Caring” even if we have to rip your monkey face off your head and shove it up your ass!!!


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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30 Responses to Monkeying Around

  1. The Cutter says:

    Yeah, Coco was a bit of a dick, huh?
    In my fraternity days, we made one of our pledges sing the Coco song and dance around. After he made it in, he refused to do it anymore, claiming it was “demeaning.”

  2. ES, you are evil! All those Link Drops – I taught thee too well – and I love this post so much I’m tempted to click on every last one. That Coco was a little jerk, but did you ever write about Fruity Pebbles? Barney was the biggest dick ever, always stealing Fred’s cereal. Like freaking buy your own, you twit! Or those kids who kept taking the cereal away from the stupid rabbit. Or the Cookie Crunch thieves promoting crime in children – the list never ends. They’re grrrreat!

  3. acuriousgal says:

    LOL….you crack me up!! I’m most likely thoroughly preserved or am a science experiment cause I grew up eating these things(shhhhhh, my kids eat these too). Nothing better than a bowl of cereal turning your milk into chocolate milk!!!!

  4. youngatfifty says:

    Quite an evil insight into Coco and the Australian accent 😉

  5. gentlestitches says:

    Shane pointed out how difficult it seems for non aussies to sound aussie. I think the accent might be hard to do. It isn’t aussie, I agree with you, it is someone trying to sound aussie.
    Coincidentally we have just had a major controversy over coco pops. Read this if you want a laugh and also check out the fact we have had Coco the Monkey for ever.
    this was the ad.

    • Thank you for pointing me out to this ad controversy!!! The RCMI sounds awful Big Brotherish to me… and I love how it mentioned one thing the commercial was spanked for was not showing fruit and a glass of milk along with the cereal… a cereal commercial staple I poked fun at in my last post about breakfast!

      I definitely think that if they wanted Coco to sound like an Aussie (even though from the animals depicted, that was quite obviously an African jungle), they should have hired a genuine Australian to do his voice!

  6. 1jaded1 says:

    My friend and I were cracking up at snap, crackle poop…and that picture is hilarious.

  7. Teepee12 says:

    Bizarre though it may be, I’ve never even tried these things. I think I won’t, but you sure did make me laugh 🙂

  8. hahahahaha
    This is hilarious!
    I’m at work, supposed to be doing something really important and serious, I started laughing at this and of course it gave me up.
    I’ve never liked Cocoa Krispies, taste like cardboard.
    Great post and thanks for the laugh!

  9. draliman says:

    Yay – a product we also have in the UK! Only we call them “Cocoa Pops”.
    “So chocolatey, they even turn the milk brown!” Yum.
    I think maybe Coco the monkey left the US and came over here, because I’m sure I’ve seen him much more recently. We love monkeys over here.

  10. This is hilarious. You continue to amaze me. Someday will you tackle how Sugar Smacks got their name? I’ve always been curious about their story.

  11. reocochran says:

    Oh my goodness! This got a little wild and crazy! But funny… smirking a bit in the library! No chuckling allowed!

  12. C.K. Hope says:

    LMAO, I remember Tusk. I didn’t even notice he wasn’t on the package anymore but then again my kids only ate Cheerios if they had cereal at all.

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