Ad Space – Early Days of the Trix Rabbit

You are now entering Ad Space, a realm of commercials, brought before us so we might examine how they work, and discuss why we both love and hate them so. So it is written …

The Product:
Trix cereal

The Promotion:

The Pitch:
Enjoy Trix cereal, and laugh at the silly rabbit who doesn’t get any. Laugh at him!

The Trix Rabbit has evolved a lot over the decades. Most of us are probably familiar with him as this energetic trickster character, always hatching one scheme or another to steal some kids’ Trix cereal away. But in his origins here … he’s the Charlie Brown of cereal mascots.

In his debut commercial, he doesn’t even make an effort to get Trix. He’s holding a box of Trix cereal in his hands, but passes it over to the kids with weary resignation. Because Trix are for kids, you see, not rabbits, and he must abide by that rule, even as it denies him all the pleasure in the world, even as he sits dejected on the ground while the kids talk about how wonderful Trix cereal is.

In the second commercial, he finds a genie’s lamp, a magic device to make impossible dreams possible … but even a genie won’t let him have a box of Trix cereal, snatching it away from him at the last moment.

And in the third commercial, all he wants to do is dream of having Trix. Not even eat it, just in his nighttime slumber imagine what it would be like to eat Trix. And even that is denied to him. Even in his dreams, he can never be allowed to forget the sad, rigid order of things.

It’s a thoroughly depressing take on a cartoon cereal mascot for kids. I find them hilarious, much funnier than most of the later Trix commercials, but it’s not surprising they quickly reimagined the rabbit as more of a Wile E. Coyote figure. Going isn’t-it-funny-how-depressing-this-is? … probably not the best way to sell brightly colored, sugary cereal. Bit of a disconnect.