Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Separated at Birth:: Assy McGee & Canadian Mr. Mini-Wheats

Mini-Wheats "Walking" vidcap

Assy McGee vidcap

I saw the recent Kellogg's Mini-Wheats ad for Canada, "Walking", featuring a rewrite of the disco anthem, "In the Navy", by The Village People.


MINI-WHEATS Walking from Pascal Blais Animation Studio on Vimeo.


The Mr. Mini Wheats character with its disembodied hands and feet reminded me of Assy McGee, a 2006 12 minute animated show that aired on [adult swim] and had difficulty getting sponsors, initially. More on Assy and Clambake Animation on this link. Upon closer inspection, Assy has legs and feet, but doesn't have visible hands. Nevertheless, he can shoot a gun and drink hard liquor as if he did.

The Canadian spots are done by the Pascal Blais Studio in Montréal and I noticed with the 2009  blueberry muffin spot [Fr] that there was a Disney vibe going on, which is pretty far removed from Assy McGee. Assy does/did have an action figure {left} and I'm not sure if Mr. Mini-Wheats does, but he should in this era of brand communities. It appears that the Mini-Wheat character dates back to at least 1988, evident in this Canadian ad for the Québec market.

The trend with these Mini-Wheat ads is to adapt existing songs, which I think can be hard to do and still be "on code" symbolically and seamless executionally. The blueberry muffin spot used "Galop Infernal". The jingle in the first ad I saw for Vanilla Mini Wheats has an earworm quality, based on Black Lace's "Agadoo"::


MINI-WHEATS Vanilla from Pascal Blais Animation Studio on Vimeo.

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