I’ve been struggling a little this past week. Trying to figure out something I want to explore for an entire semester is pretty daunting. I may have finally found it?
Somehow I stumbled upon this blog post, Less is More: General Mills’ Cereal Port, which points out how much more we’ve come to accept in terms of marketing. Gone are the days when a cereal box advertises just what it is: cereal. Yes, that “Silly rabbit” has been trying to get his hands on this kids-only cereal since 1957, but he wasn’t always so explosive and frantic about it (and the kids were quite as mean):
Apparently, General Mills has released “vintage” versions of their cereals (Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Trix, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Lucky Charms, maybe more?) in the past to encourage nostalgia in their consumers, encouraging them to buy their childhood favorites again.
Was does this say about us as consumers, I wonder? Do we expect this kind of advertising now? Are we just immune to it? Are bright colors and fast-paced commercials really needed to attract kids’ attention?
I’m intrigued by how much marketing and advertising has changed over the years. If you look at the images below, you’ll see just how things have evolved. Cereal boxes are louder, brighter, and have much more information crammed on them than years ago:
Both of these pictures show how we’ve become used to (and perhaps numbed by?) the action-centered, stimulating objects we see daily as consumers. The old rabbit looks quite content with his spoonful of Trix, the leprechaun looks jolly and happy with his stationary bowl of Lucky Charms, and, the bee of days past didn’t have to make the Cheerios glow with a magic honey wand.
I can imagine that this kind of comparison can be made over a wide range of products. I think it could be interesting to examine these differences, delve into how the marketing has changed, and what it says about our culture.