…and it’s got oh’s and ghosts, and it tastes “real good!”
It’s got marshmallow ghosts, and fruit-flavored oh’s, and is part of a complete breakfast that tastes good with milk, juice, and toast, while tackling an ever-popular movie theme song and changing its lyrics in an attempt to market the product to impressionable children.
Ah, the days before the Children’s Television Act of 1990…you never fail to disappoint.
Welcome to 1986, where marketing to children was a big bowl of sugary breakfast cereal that could be part of a complete breakfast, as told by your favorite characters. Later, they would try to sell you their latest toy, batteries were sold separately, your parents put it together, and once the network returned from the commercial break, those characters continued on their pre-“After These Messages…” adventure.
Magical, you say? Yes, it was!
Saturday mornings (and weekday afternoons, usually beginning at 3 pm) were full of amazing moments like these, but the cereal commercials were a dominating force of Saturday morning cartoons. Weekday afternoons reminded us that Spaghetti-Oh’s and Chef Boyardee character pasta in a can (or even, Tic Tac Toe’s – we weren’t picky) could easily dominate dinner that evening, engaging us in healthy competition of matching three unhealthy pieces of pasta on the spoon.
I’ve covered the awesomeness of character tie-in cereal before (#FlashbackFriday is a Delicious Part of This Complete Breakfast! / A New #ThrowbackThursday For Breakfast!), but only one – besides the traditional Halloween staples – Count Chocula, Franken Berry, Boo Berry, and the Fruit Brute – can rise above the rest to not only have a Halloween feel, while being sold year-round.
We’re back in the magical year of 1986, eating a cereal that is a movie/cartoon tie-in, that combines marshmallow ghosts with fruit-flavored oh’s, and is good for you, when combined with milk, juice, and toast.
Oh, and a ghost singing like Ray Parker Jr. (was it?), in the guise of his popular song from a certain 1984 movie, is the product pitchman.
I ain’t afraid of no ghosts, nor am I afraid of sugar, carbs, and calories (who would have been back then?). I’m certainly not afraid of this commercial!
Ghostbusters Cereal was produced beginning in 1985, a product of Ralston Purina, and was one of several cereals featuring the paranormal investigators that believed in us.
The version in this commercial was the original version, and was manufactured until 1987, with a name change in 1987 to The Real Ghostbusters (to capitalize on the popularity of the Saturday morning cartoon, adding green and purple ghost marshmallows), with another name change in 1989 to reflect the release of the second Ghostbusters movie. In 1989, and wrapping up the end of the franchise (at least, at that time), was Slimer! And the Real Ghostbusters, which was manufactured until 1990 or 1991.
Ralston Purina was a manufacturer of not only licensed character cereals, but also pet food, non-cereal food, and animal feeds. Established in 1894 as Purina Mills, the name was changed to Ralston-Purina in 1902. The “human food” division of Ralston was spun off in 1994, with the pet/animal food division merging with Nestle in December 2001.
Ghostbusters joined a cavalcade of character-driven cereals featuring the likes of Barbie, Batman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Bill and Ted, the Funny Pages, GI Joe, and even Nintendo produced during the 1980s. While, those cereals all were gone by 1990, but during their time, they gave us all the sweet, sweet sugary food equivalent of the cartoons we loved to watch, and the toys we loved to play with.
Ralston did, however, leave this in the wake of their character-driven cereals.
One more day until Halloween!
Have a fantastic Flashback Friday, and a great weekend!