Today’s video is something that I uploaded to my own YouTube channel, the result of downloading and watching about 200 old commercials for Alpha-Bits cereal from the ’60s and ’70s. Alpha-Bits was and still is my favorite cereal. You might think watching a bunch of old ads would be boring, but au contrere mon frere — seeing how Post changed its approach to selling this simple food over a short time was an eye-opener. From ’60s straightforward to animated through psychedelic and health-nut ’70s, the shilling ran the gamut in uneven but entertaining fashion. It gives one the distinct feeling that Post’s ad agency during those years had a revolving door of executives.
Starting around 1969, Post started including extras with each cereal box. This started with bubblegum rock records actually printed on the box back, then moved towards assorted small toys mid-decade. This particular commercial was picked because it has one of my favorites, a plastic mini-terrarium. After emptying the included seed packet onto a tiny sponge, with regular watering a plant would grow (“in about 8 days!”). Groovy.
Post’s website says that they are still making Alpha-Bits, although it’s been years since I’ve seen a box. It was good, not horribly sweet like many other products currently clogging the supermarket cereal aisle.