Witness now the unhealthy nexus of blockbuster movies (Steven Spielberg, j’accuse!) and sugary breakfast cereals.
The cereals named for beloved movie characters featured below were termed “part of a nutritious breakfast” in their TV ads circa 1980 – 1990.
Notice the precise wording there. It would make Edward Bernays proud.
“Part of” actually means that there was nothing nutritious about these cereals, only that if a child consumed a glass of orange juice, a grapefruit, some oatmeal and toast along with the sugar-injected breakfast cereal, he or she might glean some nutritional value out of breakfast.
See how that works?
We know that product placement in movies reached escape velocity in the 1980s (see: Mac and Me ), but still, it’s a little shocking in 2015 to look back and witness the craven commercialism of these breakfast cereal brands as they shamelessly trade on popular kid’s characters like E.T., Gizmo, C-3PO and the like.
Maybe George Lucas and Steven Spielberg didn’t rape our childhoods so much as conspire to infuse it with sugar…
General Mills’ E.T. Cereal
Ralston Purina’s Gremlins Cereal
Batman: The Cereal
Ralston Purina’s Bill and Ted’s Excellent Cereal