I’m not sure what kids eat for breakfast today (MP3s?), but back in my youth, a character wasn’t considered a star until they had their own cereal. The Ghostbusters, Mr. T, and C-3PO all had crunchy, sugary breakfast sweets, and Mario was no different. After appearing in a Donkey Kong-themed cereal, Mario and Link from The Legend of Zelda teamed up for the Nintendo Cereal System, a twin package of fruity goodness that spawned this very ‘80s commercial. As the advert suggests, the box contained two distinct cereals, perfect to be enjoyed by the average boy, girl, or nerd that are portrayed within.
Any impressionable child will love the idea of eating a distinctly 8-bit breakfast, but the catchy song makes it even harder for kids to turn down. And the naming hooks into the Nintendo Entertainment System, making kids think of the company first instead of the characters--smart marketing for the publisher. It’s possible that naming helped indoctrinate a generation of Nintendo fanboys, but as someone who recalls eating this crappy cereal, I think that fruit-flavored mess probably did more harm than good.
Watch it here!