associated with the company’s branded breakfast cereal. Table 4-12 shows spokescharacters for selected RTE cereal brands. Some of the characters have undergone physical transformations over the decades. For example, Tony the Tiger™ was created in 1951 to promote Kellogg’s Sugar Frosted Flakes® that was later changed to Frosted Flakes®. More recently, he has been designed as slimmer and more muscular as Americans became more health conscious (Enrico, 1999). In 2005, the Tony the Tiger™ mascot was launched to reach 2- to 5-year-olds through a $20 million television and print campaign targeted to mothers as the household gatekeepers with a reformulated cereal as a “food to grow by” and to help active children “earn their stripes” (Thompson, 2004).

Real-life branded spokescharacters have also been used by companies to market their image and branded products. A clown named Ronald McDonald was created in 1963 and used as a spokescharacter to appeal to children, with the intent of associating him with a fun experience and the food offered at McDonald’s (Enrico, 1999; Ritzer, 2004). Selected as the second most famous advertising image of the 20th century, after the Marlboro Man, Ronald McDonald’s face is recognized by nearly 96 percent of American children, and is used to sell fast food for the QSR internationally in more than 25 languages (Enrico, 1999).

Employing the same type of advertising used for RTE breakfast cereals, manufacturers of bakery products such as snack cakes, cupcakes, and Twinkies used spokescharacters in enjoyable adventures. For example, Hostess uses Happy Hoho® and Captain Cupcake® (Hostess, 2005) and Nestlé uses the Nesquik Bunny™ to promote its chocolate-flavored beverage directly to children (Nestlé, 2004). Kool-Aid®, created in the 1920s, was promoted by two spokescharacters, the Smiling Face Kool-Aid® Pitcher, and in 1975, the Kool-Aid® Man (Hastings Museum of Natural and Cultural History, 2004; Kraft Foods, 2005b).

 

General Mills’ Cereals

Character

Cereal

Character

Sugar Bear

Trix®

The Trix® Rabbit

Crazy Craver

Cocoa Puffs®

Sonny the Cuckoo Bird

Alpha-Bit Characters

Lucky Charms®

Lucky the Leprechaun

Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble

Count Chocula®

Count Chocula®



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