Cookie Crisp has resurrected the kid-friendly, "cool" wolf character for the brand. Misguided fools.
It didn't work for Fruit Brute (of the Count Chocula franchise) back in the day...
And it didn't work with Poochie (The Simpsons, Itchy & Scratchy). OK. This is a stretch. It's not cereal and it's a dog, but it's the same weak-ass Jungian Archetype (pandering ass).
Good Cereal Brands start with a re-dimensionalizing of the family dynamic, namely, the struggle for control. Think kids trying to get their hands on what they "shouldn't" have (Barney trying to steal Fred's Pebbles, the thieving Trix rabbit, the kid's trying to steal Lucky's Charms... )
I came up with a idea for a cereal brand, in the classic style, based on a news story I heard this summer about an escaped circus kangaroo on the loose in Ireland.
Here's the set-up for the brand story.
The kangaroo, on the loose in Ireland, breaks into a house, enters the kitchen, pours a bowl of cereal into it's pouch, pours in some milk, grabs a spoon and hightails it out of there. He does this all over town. Over time, he has the whole town chasing him (think Benny Hill), and I mean everybody – housewives, children, the old Irish priest, the town drunk, the pub proprietor, a leprechaun – they're chasing Roo through the rolling, green hills of Ireland.
On the box cover we see Roo shovelling spoonfuls of cereal, rapid-fire style, into his mouth and peering over his shoulder to see the townspeople coming over the hills.
Here is a rough sketch I did in a bar (crayon on paper table covering).
Each different flavor variety would be associated with a different townsperson. That character would be leading the charge and featured in the mid-ground of the box illustration. For Example, "Gold Debloons" (a corn pops rip-off) would the Leprechaun's flavor. The name of the cereal is Heesgotme's, so, the Leprechaun/Corn Pops flavor would be "Heesgotme's Gold Dabloons". (The Pub Proprietor flavor might be something like "Heesgotme's Barley Bites".)
The only problem is that celebrity culture killed cereal advertising. It's so much easier to have Spongebob or Dora phone it in. See my posts: Celebrity culture destroyed cereal advertising. and The Archimedes' Lever to move any product.