Saturday, January 29, 2011

Quisp Cereal : Television Commercial : (1966)

Quisp is a sugar-sweetened breakfast cereal from the Quaker Oats Company. It was introduced in 1965 and continued as a mass-market grocery item until the late 1970s. Sometime afterward, the company sold the item sporadcially, and upon the rise of the Internet began selling it primarily online. Quisp was initially marketed with a sister brand, Quake. Its joint-product television commercials were produced by Jay Ward, a major producer of animated television series.

Quisp and the similarly marketed cereal Quake were originally released in 1965 in the United States by the Quaker Oats Company and generally advertised together (during the same commercial) with their character mascots competing against each other. The successful ads were cartoons created by Jay Ward, and used some of the same voice actors as in Ware's of Rocky and Bullwinkle animated series, including Daws Butler as the voice of Quisp (an alien) and William Conrad as the voice of Quake (a miner). The commercials often asked children to choose which cereal was better, and to compete over taste or premiums. The competition reached its peak in 1972, when a series of commercials asked children to vote for which cereal should remain on the shelves. Quake had a makeover in 1969, slimming down and changing his miner hat for an Australian bush hat and Australian accent,[citation needed] but that was not enough. Quisp was the winner and Quake was discontinued. The character Quake, however, reappeared as a sidekick of an orange kangaroo named Simon in an orange-flavored cereal called Quangaroos. In 1976, Quaker Oats ran another contest, this time asking children to choose between Quisp and Quangaroos. Quisp won again and Quangaroos was discontinued. Quisp did not outlast its competitors for long. In the late 1970s, Quisp was discontinued due to low sales. It was brought back in the mid 1980s, then again in the 1990s and in 2001, where it was relaunched as the "first Internet cereal". Consumers were encouraged to visit the Quisp Web site to view animated endings to cartoons on the back of the cereal box. The online Flash animation was produced by John Kricfalusi and Spümcø, featuring Quisp and his sidekick Quunchy (voiced by Corey Burton and Matt Danner, respectively).

From then on, Quisp remained in limited distribution, with Quaker Oats distributing the product in "guerrilla displays" that would appear in a store and last until the product sold out. Even in the late 2000s, it could occasionally be found in grocery and discount chains such as Dollar General, Marc's and Food Lion.[citation needed] Through at least summer of 2009, Quaker Oats sold Quisp directly to the public through an online store. In August 2010, Super Target stores started selling Quisp. The Quisp website featured a graphic stating, "Quisp Has Come Back to Earth! Find him at Super Target." but there was no marketing campaign, only wallpaper graphics, a retro-themed flash cartoon and a t-shirt offer on the cereal box.
 From Wikipedia

When I was a little kid my mother rarely let myself and my two sisters eat sugary cereals so when we did, it  really was a special treat. Quisp was my favorite, I think I was attracted to it because of the outer space theme of the advertising and the packaging. In retrospect I think this cereal tasted no different that Cap't Crunch , (just different shapes). - Jon Behrens  

JAY WARD   1966

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