So I'm getting a haircut today. You know. At a salon. At 11am. On a Thursday, using my lunch break. From a guy named Guido (no, I'm not making that up). You know, nothing metrosexual about that at all. Anyways, we're going through the regular banter. Guido: "Any ladies in your life right now?"
Guido: "Any fun weekends lately?"
Drew: "I've been drinking a lot." (this was an honest answer, which should be concerning on a lot of other levels than just "terrible conversation to have with strangers")
(apparently at this point, I'm trying to make this as awkward as possible for him, as the only thing we have in common is that we both have hair, wear clothes and kinda have jobs sometimes)
Guido: "Umm...work good?"
Drew: "Actually, yeah, really good. We're pitching this cereal company right now. It's cool, because everyone is broke, so I mean, a lot of people are eating cereal, right? Right? Guido, are you awake? You're holding scissors. Wait, seriously you're holding scissors. Are you awake?"
It's true, right? When you were broke, ALL you did was eat cereal. I say this because it's all I do still, so apparently things are going really well and/or I'm lazy and pouring a liquid on a solid seems like the easiest way possible to nourish myself with as little physical or mental capability required possible. So logically, because this is how ANY normal train of thought goes, I started thinking about how I missed Saturday morning cartoons and all the cereal commercials they would inundate me with. You know why? Because that's advertising working right there: market to people who are right in your demographic. And kids watching cartoons are essentially stoners: poor by choice, not doing much with their lives and are looking for any way to eat possible and hope to laugh in the process because this will make a decision for them. Functional retards.
At this point, I started to think about a few things. For starters, haircuts are terrifying, because you are paying someone with scissors to basically do something with your head that may dictate whether or not you get laid or not for a month or two.
And then I began think about how the characters that advertisers choose to promote cereal with are the most terrifying crop of superstars you could ever imagine. It's like one big group of freakish evangelists that could easily have just been in rehab. Let me explain, one by one, what I mean.
Brand: Honey Nut Cheerios
Mascot: Freakish Bee who is skittish and really talkative
Analysis: I mean, watch the honey bee again. He always flies in and tells kids in fragment sentences why they should get a good breakfast. Sometimes he even talks about random other things in a totally non-sequiter way, like how they should get into soccer practice or be nicer to their siblings. Hey, remind you of anyone you know? Oh it does? Yeah, that guy you know who got into coke! The one who sits there and has conversations like, "You know what I realized? I should be having a better breakfast. I just, I want to change, you know? I gotta change. I wish I played soccer more. You should play soccer more. I wish I played guitar. See what I mean man? I'd play guitar if I had breakfast more often. Do you play soccer right now? We should get a pizza. I'm not hungry, nevermind. Do you want to play soccer? GOD I love Glee. That show is so good. It's SO FUCKING GOOD. Do you watch Glee? We gotta buy more cereal. I hate my dad." What I just described was the cheerios honey-bee AND your coke head friend. Yeah. I know. Scary.
Brand: Golden Crisps
Mascot: "Sugar Bear", a stoney bear who also had the name of a pimp. So that's cool.
Analysis: Well, they were trying hard to hide the demographic here. Hey, are you on drugs right now and want something sugary that doesn't take a lot of effort? How about this sugar cereal we made! Don't worry, this totally mellow bear is eating it too, and he's just like you. He can't get enough super golden crisp! Um, what? If you are relating to a stoned bear and this is going to spur your decision to eat something, maybe smoke nine less bowls next time.
Brand: Frosted Flakes
Mascot: Tony The Tiger, an insanely jacked tiger with way more energy than everyone else.
Analysis: Tony is a clear steroids user. He randomly shows up to youth sporting events, spurring kids just to "have a few 'frosted flakes'" to get that extra lift the other team doesn't have. Oh, hey Victor Conte. Seriously? I mean, why didn't Tony just carry around needles and tell kids that it would never show up in drug tests and they would see results immediately. Wow. They should have shown the Tony the Tiger documentary about his fall from grace after he got off the flakes and had backne and his testicles shrunk.
Brand: Lucky Charms and Trix
Mascots: A LEPRECHAUN and a TALKING BUNNY RABBIT
Analysis: Hey kids, want to know what LSD feels like? Well here you go! Just look at this paranoid delusional duo that fears that people are "stealing me lucky charms" and also hiding a fruity cereal from them. I at least like this approach, because they probably didn't have a lot in the "why this cereal is good for you" category on the old whiteboard, so some genius just blurted out..."Well if they aren't good for you, why don't we just simulate a terrifying drug trip while also highlighting the marshmallow and sugar content? And kids LOVE leprechauns and bunny rabbits! It's a win-win!"
Brand: Cookie Crisp
Mascot: An ex-con and his crazy talking dog cohort
Analysis: Well, if you make a cereal out of cookies, odds are no parent is going near that one in the breakfast aisle. What's that, you already made 13,398,993 boxes of it to sell? Okay, um....I've got it. We'll have this creepy, pedophile-esque bank robber who goes around with his dog and steals cookies from people. You know, kind of like a homeless person! Parents will eat that shit up! I mean, if you weren't sold before, how is this not going to be the straw that breaks the proverbial camel's back! If it doesn't sell through, we'll just have this silly part in the commercial where the dog goes, "CAHooooookie Crisp!" Done and done.
I'm not sure if there is a cereal summit where they all get together and try to out-creep the other executives with their marketing plans, but God would I like to attend it. I'm just waiting for the cereal marketed to depressed kids where the sad monkey (the obvious mascot choice) eats a cereal that resembles prozac and then randomly feels a lot better 4-6 weeks later after maintaining a healthy breakfast routine, while not discontinuing until first consulting their doctor.
It can't be that far off, right?