The 80s were a decade marked by big hair, neon clothing, and catchy jingles in TV commercials. However, as we look back on these ads today, we realize that they weren’t just for kids. Adult-targeted cereal commercials were a real thing in the 80s, and they were quite effective in their marketing strategies. Let’s explore some of the most unforgettable commercials for cereals and sugary snacks that targeted adults.
Adults Finding Fun in Cereal
Two of the biggest names in the adult-targeted cereal game were Honey Nut Cheerios and Special K. Honey Nut Cheerios advertised themselves as the perfect cereal for adults by highlighting their wholesome ingredients and low sugar content. Special K, on the other hand, cornered the market on weight loss by emphasizing its “light” formula that could help adults shed those pesky extra pounds.
An iconic commercial that stands out is the Honey Nut Cheerios commercial featuring a couple sitting at a table, discussing the cereal’s benefits. The catchphrase “nobody can say no to Honey Nut Cheerios” has become evergreen and, to this day, is remembered by adults who feel nostalgic about their childhood years.
Sugary Snacks for Adults
Who says cereals are the only breakfast food that’s fair game for adults? Sugary snacks like Pop-Tarts and Dunkaroos found their sweet spot with adult audiences by promoting indulgence as a form of self-care.
One unforgettable example of adult-targeted snacks is the Pop-Tarts’ commercial featuring a group of adults dancing with a box of hot, freshly toasted Pop-Tarts. The commercial ends with the tagline “So hot, they’re cool.”
80s Commercials Targeting Specific Groups
Marketers of the 80s knew how to cater to specific audiences by crafting commercials that spoke to their unique needs and interests. For instance, Kellogg’s aimed at older audiences with their bran cereal commercials which highlighted their nutritional benefits. Post’s Grape Nuts, marketed towards men, emphasized the cereal’s “hearty” and “manly” attributes.
One of the standout commercials was for Life Cereal featuring a young boy named Mikey. The commercial begins with two brothers refusing to eat Life Cereal but finally giving it to their kid brother, Mikey, thinking he wouldn’t like it. Surprisingly, Mikey loved it, which led to the now-iconic tagline, “Hey, Mikey, he likes it!”
The 80s were a bygone era of nostalgia and memorable TV commercials, many of which still linger in our minds to this day. The adult-targeted cereal commercials, in particular, stand out as a testament to the era’s marketing savvy. These commercials elevated the humble bowl of cereal from a breakfast staple to an aspirational lifestyle choice and fueled the boom of sugary snack marketing in the years that followed. As we reminisce over these commercials, we can’t help but feel nostalgic about simpler times when all we had to worry about was which cereal to choose.
Now that we’ve taken a trip down memory lane, which of these memorable adult-targeted cereal commercials was your favorite? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!