September 10, 2009

THE OTHER BROTHER CRIED LIKE A POST-FLORIDA DEMOCRAT:

Quake: From: Quaker: Introduced in 1965 (Mr. Breakfast)

Quake and it's partner cereal Quisp were introduced by Quaker Oats in 1965.

Quake was described in commercials as "wonderful wheelies of corn and oats... buzzin' with honey and bustin' with earthquake power." The cereal pieces were shaped like small gears with holes in the center.

Quake and Quisp were almost always promoted together in television and print advertising. The cereals' mascots were developed by Jay Ward and Bill Scott, the creators of Rocky & Bullwinkle. Quaker enlisted the team to create characters that cereal brands could be built upon. Two years earlier, Quaker, Ward and Scott had great success using the mascot-precedes-the-cereal formula when they created Cap'n Crunch.

The cartoon spokesman for Quake was a large (nearly menacing), muscular, broad-jawed man who wore a miner's helmet and a cape. It was implied that Quake the character and Quake the cereal both came from the center of the earth, which explains the miner's equipment and references to earthquakes. Early advertising distinctly showed that Quake had the ability to fly. That aspect of the character was later downplayed in favor of Quake's clever use of unconventional transportation such as whales or swimming horses.

The mascot for Quisp cereal was a pink alien also called Quisp. By means of a propeller lodged in his head, Quisp would fly around promoting his cereal and often provoke Quake with challenges that Quisp was a better cereal with better premiums.

While the two cereals were virtually identical in flavor (Quake was said to be slightly crunchier), Quisp proved to have much more consumer appeal and traditionally beat Quake in sales. Quaker placed the blame on Quake the character. [...]

In 1972, Quaker asked consumers to vote on which cereal/character they liked best. The loosing cereal would be discontinued. Based on the cereal's sales in the preceding years, it was a foregone conclusion. By 1973, Quake had disappeared from grocery store shelves.


But not from the memory of bitter twerps.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 10, 2009 8:24 AM
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