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Advertising Character Costumes

Updated on September 29, 2014

Not Your Typical Halloween Costumes!

You know and love them, and most of us have grown up with them! Advertising mascots are an important part of selling products, from cereal characters like Tony the Tiger and Toucan Sam, to dinner-time favorites like the Jolly Green Giant and the Helping Hand. Here's some really awesome Halloween costumes for trick or treating! Who will you dress up as?

Monster Cereals

I want to eat your cereal!

In the early 1970s, the Monster Cereals were introduced by General Mills. Originally the line started with Count Chocula (chocolate-flavored corn cereal bits and marshmallows) and Frankenberry (strawberry-flavored corn cereal bits and marshmallows). These were shortly followed by Boo Berry (blueberry-flavored corn cereal bits and marshmallows) and Fruit Brute (frosted fruit-flavored cereal with lime flavored marshmallows).

In 1983, Fruit Brute was discontinued. In 1987, Fruity Yummy Mummy replaced it, changing the lime-flavored marshmallows with vanilla flavored ones. But it too was eventually cancelled in 1993.

The cereal line is produced year-round but for some areas they are usually seen during the fall months, particularly around Halloween. The characters have become iconic in pop culture as well as receiving various types of official merchandise, like bobblehead dolls and t-shirts.

Lucky Charms

They're Magically Delicious!

Introduced in 1964, Lucky Charms were originally created in 1962. General Mills wanted to make a unique cereal for their brand. The concept was created by John Holahan after he mixed Cheerios with bits of Brach's Circus Peanuts.

The concept of the "charms" was based on charm bracelets, and originally the oat cereal was not sugar coated. As soon as the oats became sugar coated the cereal became a success.

L.C. Leprechaun became the cereal's mascot in 1963. His name was eventually changed to Lucky the Leprechaun. He has starred in commercials for the cereal, always trying to escape from a batch of children who want to "steal" his lucky charms.

Originally the cereal featured four marshmallow shapes: pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers. Over the years, starting in 1975, the cereal has seen the inclusion of blue diamonds, purple horseshoes, red balloons, pots of gold, leprechaun hats, shooting stars, sparkling rainbows, magic mirrors, hidden keys, and hourglasses. Marshmallow shapes have come and gone, depending on the promotion.

Keebler Cookies

Uncommonly Good

The second-largest cookie and cracker manufacturer in the United States, the Keebler Company was originally a bakery in Philadelphia, PA, in 1853. After joining forces to form the United Biscuit Company in 1927, the company eventually evolved into the Keebler Company. In 2001, the Kellogg Company acquired the Keebler Company.

The Keebler elves were created in 1968, lead by "head elf" J.J. Keebler. They "bake" the companies products in their "Hollow Tree Factory". In 1970, Ernest J. Keebler took over as "head elf". Ernie, as he is known, wears a green jacket, white shirt, yellow tie, red vest, and floppy shoes.

There have been other elves introduced to promote various products; Fryer Tuck for "Munch-ems", Zoot and J.J. for "Pizzarias", Ernie's mother Ma, Elmer, Buckets (who threw fudge on the cookies) Fast Eddie, Sam, Roger, Doc, Zack, Flo, Leonardo, Elwood, Professor, Larry, Edison, and Art.

Kellogg's Fruit Loops

Follow my nose! It always knows!

Kellogg's introduced Froot Loops in 1963. Originally the cereal featured red, orange, and yellow "loops" of cereal.

Manuel R. Vega designed an avian mascot called Toucan Sam, who featured the traditional colors of the cereal as stripes on his beak. He was voiced by Mel Blanc and originally spoke in Pig Latin for quite a few commercials.

In the early 1990s, the colors green, purple, and blue were introduced, followed by gold in 2006.

Kellogg's Frosted Flakes

They're Gr-r-reat!

Originally marketed as Sugar Frosted Flakes in 1952, the Kellogg's company dropped the "sugar" from the name in the 1980s and the product became Frosted Flakes.

Tony the Tiger has been the cereal's mascot from the beginning, known for uttering the slogan "They're Gr-r-reat!". He has also been used as the mascot for Tony's Cinnamon Krunchers and Tiger Power.

Tony was chosen the winner during a 1952 contest that pitted him against Katy the Kangaroo, Elmo the Elephant, and Newt the Gnu. Tony would later receive a son, Tony Jr., who would join him in several commercials. The rest of Tony's family includes, Mama Tony, Mrs. Tony, and daughter Antoinette.

Originally just a tiger, Tony has become more humanized over the years since the 1970s, and is a popular figure among the Italian American population.


Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!

Trix were first introduced in 1954, as round, fruit-flavored ground-corn pieces. The Trix Rabbit was not introduced until a 1959 commercial. The Trix Rabbit constantly tries to "trick" children into giving him a bowl of Trix cereal.

The Trix rabbit moved onto trying disguises during the 1960s through the 1980s. Twice he succeeded in getting a bowl of Trix to eat, in 1976 and 1990, after the resulting "yes" vote during a box top mail-in contest.

In 1992 the round pieces were replaced with fruit-shaped pieces. Five fruit shapes joined the original flavors, including gravity purple, lime green, orange apple crunch, wildberry, and watermelon. In 2007, General Mills discontinued the fruit-shaped pieces and returned to the round shapes.


Breakfast of Champions

Originally, Wheaties were introduced by the General Mills company in 1924. The cereal was the result of an accidental spill of a wheat bran mixture onto a hot stove. Over 36 attempts were made to strengthen the resultant flakes so they would withstand packaging. The first name given to the product was Washburn's Gold Medal Whole Wheat Flakes. The product would be renamed Wheaties during an employee contest.

On December 24th, 1926, Wheaties was the first cereal to ever reeve a commercial jingle aired on radio. In 1927 it would begin to associate with sports, advertising on the wall of a minor league baseball stadium in Minneapolis, MN.

Its popularity grew as the cereal began to sponsor baseball broadcasting and with testimonials from every type of popular sport, including baseball, football, equestrians, automobile racers, aviators, parachutists, and speedboat drivers. Circus and rodeo stars, livestock breeders, railroad engineers, big game hunters, and explorers also endorsed Wheaties.

In the early 1960s, after a decline in sales, Wheaties began to provide in-box promotions tied to athletic fitness and on-the-box sports figures. Hundreds of athletes have appeared on the Wheaties box, including Olympic athletes. Basketball great Michael Jordan holds the record for most depictions on Wheaties boxes, at 18 times. Tiger Woods is second, with a total of 14.

Hamburger Helper

One pan, One pound, One tasty meal!

Hamburger Helper was introduced by General Mills in 1971. The packaged food product consists of boxed pasta bundled with packets of powdered sauce and/or seasonings. The consumer is directed to combine the ingredients with browned hamburger meat, water, and milk to create a simple and quick family meal.

Over the years the product line expanded to include tuna and chicken, with the Tuna Helper allowing for the ingredients to be prepared with canned chicken, turkey, or ham. There are numerous types of Hamburger Helper flavors, ranging from Homestyle Favorites, to Italian, Cheesy and Mexican style ingredients.

The product's mascot is an anthropomorphic animated, four-fingered left hand glove called "Helping Hand". He has been featured prominently in the packaging design as well as in commercials.

Green Giant

From the valley of the Jolly (ho, ho, ho) Green Giant!

Green Giant is a vegetable company owned by the General Mills cooperation. It was founded in 1903 in Le Sueur, Minnesota, as the Minnesota Valley Canning Company, which sold sweet creamed corn. The name was changed to Green Giant in 1950, after being introduced in 1925 to help market the company's peas. The original cannery in Le Sueur was sold and torn down in 2006.

In 1953, the first commercial for Green Giant, featured a small puppet called the Jolly Green Giant showing consumers the cans of Niblets (corn) and peas, as he walks through the Valley. His catchphrase would become "Ho ho ho". Over the years the "jolly" part has been dropped from the Green Giant's name.

Occasionally a smaller character named Sprout, who is the Green Giant's apprentice, joins him in the commercials. He was introduced in 1973.

Part of a Balanced Breakfast!

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    • emmaklarkins profile image


      8 years ago

      Another unique costume idea! Added to Halloween on Squidoo!

    • TapIn2U profile image


      8 years ago

      Everything here looks pretty and fun! Can't wait for Halloween to swing by. So many great ideas and you have some here that I like. I have also finished my Lens of comparing Energy Medicine techniques. Please stop by and visit. Sundae ;-)

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 

      8 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Goodness, what a wonderful collection of costumes - all related to food! Love it!

    • blue22d profile image


      8 years ago

      I think I like the Green Giant the best. I like peas also.


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