We’ll replay our conversations with pop culture historians Tim Hollis and Mark Pendergrast on the next edition of TV CONFIDENTIAL, airing Sept. 4-6 at the following times and venues:
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If you grew up watching television in the ’50s, ’60s and early 1970s, you know that part of the fun of watching TV back then were the ubiquitous—and often ingenious—animated commercials for Cap’n Crunch, Sugar Crisp, Lucky Charms, Froot Loops, Fruity Pebbles, Quisp and Quake, Trix, Count Chocula, Franken Berry and numerous other popular breakfast cereals made by Kellogg’s, Post, Quaker, Ralston-Purina and other manufacturers. Much of these appeal of these commercials is the host of animated characters that are still popular today, including Tony the Tiger, Snap, Crackle and Pop, Lucky the Leprechaun, the Trix Rabbit and the Cheerios Kid. These cereal characters became big stars not only through their TV commercials, but through merchandise such as comic books, stuffed toys and, in some cases, their own TV series.
We’ll talk about this, and more, in our second hour as we replay our conversation from September 2013 with author Tim Hollis. Tim’s book Part of a Complete Breakfast: Cereal Characters of the Baby Boom Era not only reveals the origins and appeal of these commercials, but discusses how changing times helped lead to the demise of some of these popular animated breakfast-cereal characters.
Speaking of savvy advertising, we’ll talk about Coca-Cola—a product that has used print, radio and television very effectively throughout its long history—in our first hour as we replay our conversation from September 2013 with Mark Pendergrast, author of For God, Country and Coca-Cola: The Definitive History of the Great American Soft Drink and the Company That Makes It. What began as a medicinal product in 1886 gradually evolved into a refreshment beverage that not only became the dominant consumer product in the United States throughout the 20th century, but, in many respects, came to be identified with America itself.
Originally published in 1993, For God, Country and Coca-Cola has been revised and updated with new information on the history and future of Coca-Cola, including a look at how Coca-Cola and Pepsi, once rivals in the “cola wars,” are now united in the “new cola wars”—despite the fact that both are considered the primary culprits behind the obesity epidemic. The new edition also documents beyond the shadow of a doubt that Coca-Cola originally contained cocaine; discusses the origins of such famous TV campaigns as “The Hilltop Ad” (as well as the differences in how Coke and Pepsi advertise their products), and reveals the original formula used by Frank Mason Robinson, the man who not only gave Coca-Cola its name, but wrote the name in the Spencerian script that became the product’s trademark.
TV CONFIDENTIAL: A radio talk show about television
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