Thursday, March 18, 2010

When Tony was Grrrrreat...

Google Books is a controversial service to be sure, but one of it's cool features is that you can do text searches of old out of print magazines and pull up scans of the actual pages. For fans of vintage illustration and advertising this is PRIMO. Look for me to be utilizing this a lot in the future.

I thought I'd start out with some swell mid 50's ads featuring famed sugar cereal huckster Tony The Tiger. These days Tony looks about as bland as every other cereal mascot who's gone through airbrushy lame-ification, but this was not always so. Tony's original jazzier appearance was created by children's book illustrators Martin and Alice Provinsen. In focus group testing Tony beat out other potential Frosted Flakes spokesanimals Katy the Kangaroo, Zeke the Zebra, Elmo the Elephant and Newt the Gnu. (Zeke, Elmo and Newt seem to have vanished, but you an see Katy here.)

A few years back animator Nate Pacheo unsuccessfully lobbied the Leo Burnett Agency (Which has handled the Tony account since it's inception.) to go back to the original design in honor of Tony's 50th anniversary. Unfortunately they didn't bite, but you can see some of the cool concept art people contributed

Not to keep plugging Google products, but with this post I've started using the Blogger Images hosting feature. All the images below are clickable to see larger.

While pitching kid's cereal to the opera crowd, Tony asserts that he's all heterosexual.

Man, here's one you wouldn't see today.

In this one Tony appears to be lobbying for Kid n' Play's gig.

Nothing tops off a bowl of cereal like cigar ash...

No comments: