Flashback Friday – He Likes It! Hey Mikey!

Today’s flashback Friday is about a picky little boy who inspired a fifteen-year long advertising campaign.
1960s Life Cereal Box
Before Mikey, Life cereal by Quacker, was focused strictly on promoting a healthy angle. Ads charged with taglines like “Most Useful Protein Ever in a Ready-To-Eat Cereal” to fitness-minded moms and girls trying to keep their “girlish figure” (giggle). It wasn’t until the Doyle, Dane & Bernbach Agency entered the picture that Quacker was convinced they should go in a different direction.

The initial ad in the campaign (seen below) features two brothers who are fighting over who will take the first bite of the healthy cereal their mom bought them. They decide their little brother, Mikey, should do it, convinced he won’t like it because he doesn’t like anything. Low and behold, Mikey likes it! Since this commercial, there have been dozen of Mikeys, each with the same selective palette until the ad campaign’s end in 1987.

So, is this an example of a successful ad campaign? I’d say so. Any campaign that can run for fifteen years must be doing something right.

It also demonstrates a perfect marriage between Doyle, Dane & Bernbach Agency’s push towards making the brand geared more toward children and fun while maintaining Quacker’s health conscious objectives. Since its end in 1987, several healthy cereal brands, like Kix, followed suit and created campaigns that stayed young, fun, and fresh yet maintained a healthy reference point for adults.

What’s your favorite memory of Life cereal? Which Mikey do you think was the best?

Year: 1972-1987
Creator: Doyle, Dane & Bernbach Agency

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