From Traditional to Social Media: Tony the Tiger is Gr-r-reat!
If you are alive in the world today, chances are you've heard of Tony the Tiger. He's a brand icon that transcends decades. To refresh your memory...Tony the Tiger is the advertising cartoon mascot for Kellogg's Frosted Flakes breakfast cereal, appearing on its packaging and advertising since the early 1950's. This Gr-r-reat advertising icon, Tony the Tiger was born in 1951 as a concept of advertising agency Leo Burnett's Mad Men: Eugene Kolkey, Raymond Anthony Wells (Tony's namesake) & Martin Provensen.
Times have changed, but a few basic principles of good advertising have kept Tony the Tiger in the spotlight and on our breakfast tables all these years:
- Consistent Brand Voice - Tony the Tiger's brand voice- stayed pretty much consistent, literally. Since 1952-For over 50 years, Kellogg's Tony the Tiger has had only one voice, that of Thurl Ravenscroft until his death in 2005. Thurl created the brand's most famous slogan,"They're Gr-r-reat!" Lee Marshall replaced him as the voice of Tony the Tiger in the Kellogg's commercials, but some commercials still recycle clips of Ravenscroft.
- Consistent Content / Theme - Aside from the obvious, "Taste Grrreat" messaging, Frosted Flakes has always and a sports theme, regardless of the medium: print, radio, TV and on FrostedFlakes.com. Most Frosted Flakes commercials feature sports, as has box covers with tag-lines such as, "Put a tiger on your team!" The majority of the content on Kellogg's Frosted Flakes' Facebook page today centers around sports.
- Adjust for your Audience - The "look" of Tony has changed over the years. He's gotten softer features, bulked up, slimmed down and changed ascots a time or two. His son, Tony Jr., (also born in the 1950's) replaced Tony as the official mascot in the 2000's. Kellogg's celebrates the ever-changing Tony but never forgets where he came from. I love seeing the old ads on the Frosted Flakes Facebook page. Kellogg's keeps Tony the Tiger's history alive and taps into memorabilia as part of the brand experience.
Shall we prove a social media concept that brand advocates can help sell product?
I'm a little hungry for some Frosted Flakes. Are you?
Related Tony the Tiger articles:
- Thurl Ravenscroft reflects on Tony the Tiger in Cartoonican.com's Nov 2012 interview, "He’s Grrrrreat! The Thurl Ravenscroft Interview"
- Check out Tony the Tiger and his family and friends through the years at Kellogg Company's Timeline.
- Advertising Age article, "A Tiger at 60: How Kellogg's Tony Is Changing for a New Age"