There is always a question as to who is really the purchase-driver of childrens foods. One school of thought suggests that children, through the nag factor. drive the purchases of sugary cereals. On the other hand, some might say that it is always the parent who puts down the final dollars for the product. The contemporary Frosted Flakes advertisement shows Kelloggs savvy in understanding that it is both: Tony the Tigers image draws children in, yet parents are comforted by the fact that the cereal apparently contains some nutritional value.
Unlike the earlier box, however, this ad is quite misleading. Its stress that the flakes are “full of energy” hides the fact that energy is being used as a synonym for calories and sugar. Even a Snickers bar, after all provides energy. The advertisement of today is more holistic in its audience target. It also reveals that the way people view breakfast cereal has changed. Instead of encouraging children to eat and enjoy, people are encouraged to ask what the cereal can do for their childrens developing bodies. Yet presumably people are ultimately still buying breakfast cereals for their children at least partially based on taste, because if health were their sole concern, they would buy more conventionally healthy cereal like bran flakes or an organic, low-sugar childrens cereal. The contemporary advertisement allows parents to have their Frosted Flakes and eat them too — they can buy a cereal for their children that their children want to eat, yet be comforted in the fact that it has whole grains added to it, to make it somewhat healthy.
The earlier advertisement also seems to reflect a more careful and artistic era of advertising composition. The earlier advertisement has the subtlety of a painting. It is also more visual in nature, and the viewer needs to more carefully examine what is so funny about the advertisement — the fact that Tony is perched inside the box. The advertisement from the contemporary era is more informative in nature, suggesting that people are more concerned with the functional nature of cereal as a product for children, as a food that builds growing bodies. Although America may be a more food-conscious nation than ever before, breakfast cereals have become something that people feel that they have to eat. Even children, who must be persuaded to eat with cartoon characters, are now seen as having to eat good food, not to just eat breakfast period. Frosted Flakes may have changed little over the era, except for a few extra nutrients added into its composition, but the advertising promoting the product has thus changed considerably.
1960s Kelloggs Frosted Flakes Advertisement. Flickr. October 27, 2010.
Frosted Flakes Gold. October 27, 2010.