Historical Ad- Cereal


To give a gist of history and fact about cereal, it is a meal that is eaten at breakfast. Cereal became famous in Battle Creek, Michigan where Seventh-day Adventist Church was located. Because of John Harvey Kellogg, the church gave significant impact to the advancement of cereal. I have always loved to eat cereals when I was young until now. Cereal is always a good friend to me whenever I am hungry, bored or needed nutrition. So I thought to myself that historical object advertisements that are good to research about will be cereals. I have found all three advertisements through a Duke University ad site that is an incredibly reliable source.


First advertisement is a poster ad-campaign made by Gerber company. This poster is about a naked infant standing up to reach a new cereal the Gerber’s have launched. The image conveys meaning that the curious baby wanting to try out new cereal. As I first looked at the poster, white baby’s butt was the first thing I saw. I think it is too open to show baby’s body like that. The ad focuses indirectly to young babies but directly to the babies’ parents by luring them to chug in the nutritious B complex vitamins. The last sentence “be sure and pick up a package next time you shop” feels kind of offensive in the customer perspective. It sounds like the Gerber’s Barley Cereal company is threatening the customers to buy its products. This poster advertisement includes various functions to convince people to buy its products. It includes logo by saying how much time the company invested in laboratories and infant clinics to improve cereal for babies. Also the poster uses ethos by referring to third parties to convince the audience to gain more credibility. For example, Gerber’s Barley Cereal indicates doctors in the context to make the product more reliable to the audience.


Second advertisement is animation advertisement made by “Crispy Critters.” Color of the advertisement is black and white. Later, there is a scene where a real human pours milk onto the cereal so this ad is not fully animation. The content is about two animals, a lion and a bird introducing Crispy Critters’ new product that includes a total six packs of cereals. A new cereal “crispy critters” is an animal shaped cereal that will fun for the kids to eat. This ad is also mainly focused on parents that have young kids and kids ranged from 7-12. There are various flavors From the ad, the lion says “just for kids.”  One ironic thing I saw was a misspelled word from the ad. The word was written as “pak” instead of “pack”. I did not understand their motive. The lionhearted lion always attacked the bird whenever he had an opportunity. I think those certain scenes are inappropriate for the kids watching because there was also a violent scene. What I do not get about this advertisement is that in a certain time, lion always gets stomped from the marching animals. I personally think they should take out those scenes because it is random.


Third advertisement is also a video advertisement except that it is short and not animated. The ad focuses on sporty people, athletics or people who like to play sports in general. Despite the fact that this video is a seventeen second video, it is very explicit to understand what they are trying to say. The implication of this ad is for the customers to eat “Wheaties Cereals” and refill their performance. Also, the ad says “Breakfast of Champions.” Another meaning of this ad is for customers to simultaneously eat cereal and question themselves “what kind of champion am I.” This ad gives an influence to the peoples’ perception that they should play sports in order to try the “Wheaties Cereal” out.


Three advertisements have approached to the customers in a different way. First advertisement showed an extensive study in cereal, second advertisement gave a new idea of selling cereals into packs, and third advertisement showed what people do in their daily lives. However the similarity these three ads had was made in 1950s. Most cereal commercials are for children because it is the main food that can make them grow with full nutrition in their body. I wish the ads not just focused on for kids. If they expanded their customer age range, cereals would have been sold more than before.


“Crispy Critters Cereal.” Duke Digital Collections. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2014.

“It’s Here! New Barley Cereal.” Duke Digital Collections. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2014.

“Very Short 1950s-Era Commercial for ”Wheaties Cereal” : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive.” Internet Archive. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2014.

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