Cereal Mascot Creator

I have never understood why cereal continues to be marketed as a breakfast food, when it is clearly to be eaten as second-lunch.  Nonetheless, this didn’t stop me when I was approached by a popular mill and asked to create a pantheon of lovable, Gumby-like critters to represent their various “breakfast” products.

My first creation was long-billed dowitcher named “Dumpy,” who consistently found himself in the dilemma of having speared too many fruity “O” shaped cereal pieces around his thin beak, losing the ability to speak clearly.  Oh how the children laughed at that one!  “Mmm-pfff kkkkkkkkrrrrrrgggggththththth!”  A generation of kids were sent to speech pathologists because they refused to quit imitating Dumpy Dowitcher.  Also the cereal residue reacted strangely with flouride, and caused lips and tongues to stick to teeth.  Dumpy only graced the airwaves for four months, but his legacy lived on in the steady stream of court cases that

Another great idea I came up with was an amorphous brown blob with crazy googley eyes affectionately called Coco.  Coco was constantly trying to meld with a steaming bowl of carob-flavored farina.  How rich were those layers of subtext!  In one commercial, Coco is looking for its similarly gender-less sibling.  Just when Coco happens upon the bowl of farina, a cruel adult figure whisks it away.  The tears of joy turn to tears of sorrow.  And then the catch-line, “Carob-Time Farina ain’t your kin, Coco!  It’s for kids, so dig on in!”  In the next spot, Coco’s received word that it’s “mother” is ill– same scenario.  The next, Coco wants a buddy.  And so on and so forth.  The iterations were endless.  Or so we thought until some nutso parents group got all up in arms about what they claimed was “Coco’s perverse desire to mate with a food product.”  Shocking.  Sure, Coco managed to make it into the bowl most times, and slosh around with ecstasy, but Coco was always plucked out and tossed into the garbage disposal or something like that.  It made no sense.

By this time the parents had targeted me, and boy did they go berserk when my final character was introduced– a beautiful dreamweaver with a fancy mask for a face on whom I bestowed the gorgeous name of “Satin,” after my aunt, who worked at a gentleman’s club.  You can catch a clip of the original ad above.  I was particularly pleased with myself over this one, and envisioned an entire 24-minute weekly show which would subtly introduce children to all our cereal products, but it was not to be.  The closed-minded network executives pulled the plug, and refused our existing sponsorships.  The mill went broke in half a year, and once again, I was left to search out a newer, fresher career.



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