Many parents and grandparents look at today’s children’s programming and complain that the programs are nothing but commercials for action figures, candy, cereal, and video games. “Back in the good old days,” remarked Grandpa, “children’s programming was sponsored by good, clean, virtuous products. For example…”
Unfortunately, many of us who grew up in the forties and fifties have forgotten those decoder rings, badges, submarines, and other collectible items that cost a mere ten cents… plus twenty box tops, and a dollar seventy-five for shipping and handling. We’d then wait for weeks and months for our wonderful relics to arrive in the mail… only to be grossly disappointed at the poor quality of the junk.
Manufacturers have not changed much over the years. They’ll try anything to get people to buy their products.
Notice that the child can enter as often as he or she likes… simply by buying another box of cereal! I’ll bet parents went absolutely gaga over the contest and their children’s chances to win. Boy oh boy!
Another set of commercials that were a bit misleading were for a popular soft drink of the day.
That little bit of sugar mom had to add was approximately one cup. I don’t recall the price of sugar at the time, but it may have doubled the price of that five cent package.
However, in fairness to Kool-Aid, most people did not drink a lot of sodas as they do today. A bottle of root-beer was a special treat.
Kellogg’s Corn Pops relied on Wild Bill Hickock and Jingles to convince the kids to but their product.
A competitor of the day was Cheerios. Come to think of it, most of these products are still around. They’ve simply changed their slant on advertising.
I’m not sure what happened to the jingle – oh, he’s got go-power, there he goes! He’s feeling his Cheerios!
At this point, I may be boring those who didn’t grow up being inundated with these messages on Saturday mornings. However, I can’t conclude this post without one last word of advice.
WAKE UP YOU OLD RATTLESNAKE!