My Mail is Weirder than Your Mail:

Remember childhood? Those were the days. Toys, blankies, being really, really, really short. But I guess what was best about it was the way cereal just kept its damn mouth shut.

Not anymore! Nowadays, cereal comes in the mail with a lot of press kits, and yammers on and on uncontrollably. For example, consider these three newcomers from Kellogg's: "Mickey's Magix tells the story of how the ordinary becomes extraordinary when Mickey comes to play," explains one press release. (It is also "sprinkled with magical pixie dust that turns milk blue." Mothers, lock up your daughters.) Meanwhile, "Hunny Bs tells the story of a Hunny B'licious [sic] day in the Hundred Acre Wood where Pooh and his friends, Piglet, Tigger, and Eeyore, hunt for honey with help from the bees." And that's nothing compared with the gibbering of yet another box of oats, as "Buzz Blasts tells the story of Buzz Lightyear--a hero on a mission to protect the universe and save the day. Kids can become a Space Ranger and take part in Buzz's adventure as he goes to 'infinity and beyond.'"

Well, what do I know about anything? If a major multinational company insists that its boxes of grain and sugar are telling stories, who am I to argue? I wedged my head into a box and listened very carefully. Eerie silence. "Mickey?" I called, pitifully. "Buzz?" Confused, I returned to my press kit: "The unique personalities and stories behind each character are now fully integrated with Kellogg's quality breakfast cereals, allowing children a magical start to the day," explained Peter Boutros, senior vice president of global licensing development for Disney Consumer Products.

Oh. Fully integrated. Like robots? Or--or like Mickey Mouse has been ground up and baked into the cereal, mercilessly, in Disney's horrible quest to take over the world? "Mickey! Mickey!" I shrieked, stricken with a dire feeling. I collapsed on the floor, weeping.

Then it hit me: The predictions of Jeff Montie, president of the morning foods division for Kellogg, USA had simply, delightfully come true: "These cereals create a story-time occasion each time a child sits down to eat, play with the box and become engaged in the adventures of Mickey, Pooh or Buzz." What fun. Nothing says quality childhood like playing with a box of fully integrated licensed characters driven, as the press release informs us, to "introduce the first chapter of a multi-year global relationship between Kellogg and Disney that is dedicated to exploring new product opportunities."

Know any kids? Then cut this out for their memory books: Their childhood is the golden era when cereal introduces global relationships dedicated to exploring new product opportunities. Um, anyone seen my blankie?

 
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