Breakfast Cereal, Coca-Cola and Television: Next on TVC

Authors Tim Hollis and Mark Pendergrast will join us on an encore presentation of TV CONFIDENTIAL, airing June 16-19 at the following times and venues:

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Sunday 6/18
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Sunday 6/18
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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 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.

These are just some of the things we’ll talk about in our second hour as welcome 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 spend part of our first hour talking about Coca-Cola — a product that has used print, radio and television very effectively throughout its long history — as we welcome Mark Pendergrast, author of For God, Country and Coca-Cola: The Definitive History of the Great.... 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 was recently 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
Fri 7pm ET and PT on Share-a-Vision Radio, and CX Radio Brazil
Sat 8pm ET, 5pm PT and Sun 6pm ET, 3pm PT on Indiana Talks (Marion, IN)
Sat 10pm ET, 7pm PT on WON 920 The Apple (Brooklyn, NY)
Sun 9am ET, 6am PT KSCO-AM 1080 (San Jose, Santa Cruz and Salinas, CA)
Sun 9am ET, 6am PT KOMY-AM 1340 (La Selva Beach and Watsonville, CA)
Sun 1pm ET, 10am PT CROC Radio (British Columbia, Canada)
Sun 9pm PT, Mon Mid ET on KHMB-AM and FM (Half Moon Bay, CA)
Mon 10pm ET, 7pm PT on The Radio Slot Network (San Francisco, CA)
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