Friday, July 24, 2015

Toonfomercial: Remember Bugs Bunny vitamins? (1985)

There was a time when The Flintstones weren't the only cartoon characters to be featured as chewable vitamins.

In 1985, Miles Laboratories (now Bayer) added Bugs Bunny to their line of licensed properties. Unfortunately, Bugs Bunny vitamins didn't sell as well, and are long out of circulation. I know, hard to believe, right? Bugs, who'd been used to sell cereal and breakfast drinks for General Foods in the 60's, and did PSAs earlier in the 80's (which we'll do another time), should've been an easy sell.

Check out this introductory ad from 30 years ago, with Mel Blanc as Bugs.

Maybe if they marketed Looney Tunes vitamins, it'd probably do better, but do kids really want to chew on Elmer Fudd?


Goldstar said...

I remember seeing this commercial a couple of times when it was new, and yeah, perhaps the product would have been more successful if it had been marketed as Looney Tunes rather than just Bugs Bunny. Still, it's somewhat curious that kids weren't all that interested in buying something featuring Bugs' image.

The ad's jingle borrows the tune of the song "Sugar Time" with the lyrics altered appropriately to describe the product. Interestingly, this wouldn't be the only time this song would be used to shill consumer products in a commercial. Bagel Bites would use the song "Sugar Time" in it's ad campaign a few years later.

Silverstar said...

During the late 80's-early 90's, the Looney Tunes also had their own brand of kids' microwaveable meals a la Kid Cuisine. IIRC, they didn't last too long either. I think the Looney Tunes gang had their own brand of flavored drinks for a time also.

hobbyfan said...


Soon, I'll have a Kool-Aid ad up with Bugs singing & dancing. No lie, this came out back in 1966. I think the Looney Tunes gang were actually promoting Kid Cuisine at one time, but I'll have to look it up.

I referenced the PSA Bugs did. Daffy did one, too, that covered the same ground. Watch for those.

SaturdayMorningFan said...

I too am surprised they didn't sell back in the '80s. Bugs & company were still pretty popular then thanks to their Saturday morning shows. As for using Looney Tunes instead of Bugs, I think for most kids of the era the terms "Looney Tunes" and "Bugs Bunny cartoons" were pretty much interchangeable (I know they were for me and my friends). It's really too bad WB killed their popularity by restricting them to the Cartoon Network and Boomerang, which ended up just sitting on them (except for the occasional marathon). I think they'd still be going strong as a brand if they had remained on Saturday AM network TV.

hobbyfan said...

Well, my take is this. ABC ended its association with Bugs 15 years ago. Would WB have moved them to Kids' WB! at the time instead of CN/Boomerang? Absolutely, since it would actually ensure the classics would remain on a broadcast channel in addition to cable.