Ad Space – Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!

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:
Cocoa Puffs cereal

The Promotions:

The Pitch:
It’s like crack, for kids! (and cuckoo birds)

Kids’ cereal mascots have developed their own, strange little genre. The central conceit of such commercials is that the cereal being advertised is the most valuable commodity in the world: anyone who doesn’t have it will do anything to get it, and anyone who does have it will have to fend off endless theft attempts by those who don’t. We’ve already covered a couple of those: The Trix Rabbit and Sugar Bear.

But in that pantheon, Sonny the Cuckoo Bird is something decidedly off-kilter. Sonny wants Cocoa Puffs as desperately as any mascot wants their sponsored cereal. However, Sonny just as desperately wants not to want Cocoa Puffs, because the mere taste, the mere smell of them sends the bird into a psychotic frenzy (a.k.a. “going cuckoo”).

Sonny knows Cocoa Puffs aren’t good for them, that they become a wild and destructive person under their munchy, chocolatey influence. Sonny tries to avoid them, to lock them away, to physically restrain themself, to travel to the ends of the Earth, anything not to give in to the sweet, sweet temptation.

But the laws of cereal advertising won’t allow that. No matter what Sonny does, no matter where Sonny goes, Cocoa Puffs will find them. Cocoa Puffs will break their will. Cocoa Puffs will make them go cuckoo once again.

And it’s all a jolly, fun romp for kids!

I’m not sure who’s got it worse, the Trix Rabbit who constantly seeks Trix and is always denied it, or Sonny who constantly avoids Cocoa Puffs but can never escape them. Either way, their misery makes for a funny and colorful way to sell kids on your chocolate flavored breakfast (though, really, “chocolate flavored breakfast” is probably the only selling point most kids need).

However, I do wonder if these ads are viewed differently by the children of recovering addicts …