If your only knowledge of the world came via breakfast cereal marketing, then you’d probably wonder why more crime isn’t grain-related. In television ads for the likes of General Mills and Kellogg’s, sea captains, hipster monkeys, and 19th-century counts have only one thing on their mind: getting as much cereal as possible. Even the police aren’t immune to the vice, as chronicled in the ads for Cookie Crisp.
Curiously, there isn’t a lot of actual eating going on in these commercials and on these cereal boxes. It’s as if, in the cereal world, characters bludgeon each other for the stuff only to hoard it. Is the Super Golden Crisp Bear a user or merely a trafficker? And what about King Vitaman? No, really. Take a good look and tell us: What about him?
The implicit morality of the ad writers is clear. They’re saying: This barbarous state of affairs in the name of 3 percent fiber is just as things should be. And, naturally, they’re entitled to their view. But all of this made us wonder how canines fit into cereal ads’ ever-crisp, ever-floating Weltanschauung. The answer gave us a sugar high under which we later regretted our actions, especially the misdemeanors.
Here are seven dogs who have roughed it in this high-stakes world of breakfast. Be warned: It’s dehumanizing stuff.
In the early 1980s, Alphie the Wonder Dog was just one of dozens of mascots the Alpha-Bits folks have used over the years. In this clip, you can see why he wasn’t long for the world of product pitching: His diction and enunciation were atrocious. The happy news? After some lean years, Alphie re-emerged in the late 1990s as prolific hip-hop collaborator Ja Rule.
2. Cookie Crisp
Chip started life in the early 1990s as the partner in crime to the Cookie Crook. By the new millennium, Chip had gone solo and was offering his apparently contraband Cookie Crisp directly to children, as depicted in the commercial below.
3. Vanilly Crunch
Starting in 1963, Sea Dog served as Cap’n Crunch’s first mate. He made a clumsy appearance in this 1972 commercial that is notable for the sexual anxiety it seemed hell bent on introducing to millions of pre-pubescents.
In this truly epic and intrigue-riddles commercial, Sweet Polly Purebred beckons Underdog to save Cheerios from losing their O’s and becoming, er, Corn Flakes, we guess.
5. Cinnamon Marshmallo Scooby-Doo!
This cereal was launched to coincide with the ninth incarnation of the long-running cartoon series and a hit live-action movie, both of which premiered in 2002.
6. Froot Loops
Though the partnership was brief, in the 1980s a police dog hooked up with Toucan Sam in the bird’s neverending to quest to find more Froot Loops.
Lastly, here’s the always-envelope-pushing Michael Jackson eating a D-O-G for Alpha-Bits.
What would you add to our list?
Photo Credit: Bichon Frise with cereal by Shutterstock