Thursday, December 9, 2010

...Describes Cereal Commercials for Blind Children 2

For today's commercial I picked a classic representation of the 80s, courtesy of Cocoa Puffs. This cereal is chocolate powder sprayed onto puffed corn, and it's mascot is an anthropomorphic birdman with a big yellow beak shaped like a banana and orange feathers that look like blobby gelled strands of hair. In this commercial, the bird (named Sonny, supposedly after someone's son) is dressed like a character on Miami Vice. He dons a white pant suit with the sleeves pushed up, and a pink t shirt with sunglasses hanging on the neck. His eyes suggest he hasn't slept for days.

A back up band of three normal human children playing guitar, bass, and drums are on the left of the stage. Behind Sonny on the right side are three anthro birwomen. All three have voluminous purple hairdos, and are wearing sunglasses indoors. They all have figures that would be described as bird-like, with flat chests and prominent beaks.

Although his syrupy pop-singer voice suggests a feeling closer to ambivalence towards the subject (ie cereal), his animations suggest a darker, murderous passion. As the fading 80s rock star wanders squinting in the stagelights, angry and drunk his bandmates tempt him with his personal demons. This is where Sonny differs from most cereal mascots. Where other cereal commercials usually revolve around a chase or cat and mouse game (see, Fruity Pebbles, Cookie Crisp, Lucky Charms), Sonny is actively trying to avoid the product he is trying to sell. It's possible that he's just diabetic but the literal suggestion is that his avoidance is based on the prior knowledge that when he encounters his favorite cereal he goes into a state of temporary insanity wherein he loses control of his actions and cannot distinguish right from wrong.

When "this superstar" begins to describe the breakfast which represents all that he loves and hates, a cloud of smoke takes us into his inner consciousness where we see a non-animated box of cereal which opens like a book to reveal the words "Chocolatey Taste" (sic) above a mound of fudge. The book closes and is now joined by a complete breakfast, including milk, orange juice, and toast.

When the dream is over, a prepubescent temptress with a bass and rave goggles pours cereal into a bowl in front of his face, and his eyes bug out of his skull. A blond boy brings a pitcher of mother's milk to add to the concoction. Finally, an Asian boy in glasses and suspenders gives his encouragement from behind a drumkit. Sonny's eyes are now Mesmer wheels, and he manages soar into the air and fly around over the stage. Being that he is a bird, this is not unusual, but the way in which he flies is like a bottle rocket at first, straight up into the air and then like a popped balloon in an unpredictable direction. Then he falls into a floor tom.

Never bothering to eat the cereal that gives him this violent reaction, the commercial ends with Sonny lovingly stroking the boxtop with one finger. The life of an addict is difficult, but there is hope for Sonny.

No comments:

Post a Comment