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From: BlueFaeMoon

Date: 10/19/07

If you're like me, you've always wanted to be an underpaid graphic artist at a small-time company that designs packaging for "off brand" merchandise.  You know, those products that mimic the more expensive Name Brand stuff.  You most often see these cheaper, look-alike products in the grocery store.  For every can or box of Quality, there's a cheaper version marketed under the store's brand name.  But when you're on a budget, sometimes you have to give up Quality for Cheap.

So tell me... when you see this face, what does it make you want to buy?

1)  Stock in a Korean animation studio?
2)  Lifetime supply of Rodent-B-Gone?
3)  A box of home-style methamphetamine?

If you picked 3, then you are correct.

Yes, it's Pranks cereal.  Forget paying extra for a tricky rabbit on the box!  You can have just as much fun with "Rocky Crack-coon"...  Known for his snowboarding antics, and pupils the size of hockey pucks.  He even carries his own spoon!  Plus, free inside every box - a hypodermic needle!

The cereal aisle is alive with crap like this.  The familiar name brands are scary enough, but the off-brands are just freakin insane.  I swear I've walked past these boxes a hundred times and never looked twice.  But while grocery shopping last night, I was suddenly struck by how bizarre some of these are.  Thank goodness for cell phone cameras.

(Note:  I have edited the brand name off the boxes.  Because I am allergic to lawsuits.)

Spheres?  Spheres?  What, are kids into geometry now?
"Mommy, look!  My cereal is made up of a series of  geodesic points which are equidistant from a fixed position!"
"That's nice, dear.  Now finish your sugary orbs or you'll be late for school."

Ah, finally a quality graphics layout.  Nothing says "magic" like topping the i with a star.  Love the swirling cocoa vortex in the background.  And the cute mascot.  Look kids!  It's Insa-Lynn the wacky diabetes dragon!

Wait a second... that swirling vortex is starting to look familiar.  And nothing says "kooky" like topping the i with a confection.  But who doesn't love Koo-kies for breakfast!  It's like miniature Chips Ahoys sitting on your spoon in a pool of Elmer's glue.

Marketing Exec #1:  "We finally have a crunch cereal that closely mimics that other crunch cereal.  And to make sure there's no mistake in the consumer's mind what cereal this is knocking-off, we need a mascot that makes them think of an insane sea cap'n."
Marketing Exec #2:  "Well, the first thing that pops into my mind is a free-falling otter with a red spoon between his teeth."
Marketing Exec #1:  "My god that's brilliant!  Call that guy who drew the Pranks' raccoon for us.  This is right up his alley."

This, ironically, is the saddest box of cereal I've ever seen.  I don't know if it's the lack of a mascot, or lack of a swirling vortex in the background.  And who thought Sanitarium Yellow was a good color choice?  Maybe it's so depressing because there is no milk or spoon present.  Just plain, dry, beige, breakfast kibble.  This box design says, "I only eat to stay alive.  And I'm not sure it's worth it."

I took a lot more photos, before the manager made me leave.  But those will have to wait for another day.

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