Kellogg's Takes Toucan Sam In A Drastic New Direction And No One's Having It

by Rudy Sanchez on 05/18/2020 | 2 Minute Read

Can cartoon breakfast cereal mascots go through a midlife crisis? Kellogg’s may be trying to prove it is possible with a controversial refresh of Toucan Sam, the face of Froot Loops since 1963, and the reception has been less than enthusiastic.

The bright and tropical spokes-cartoon goes flat, literally, reimagined in 2D with brighter, super-saturated colors, a toothy grin, and lives in an equally psychedelic new world that leans hard into a Lisa Frank-esque, gradient-heavy look with a bit of anime thrown in to keep it spicy.

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Refreshing a long-time and widely recognized brand can be like walking a tightrope while spinning plates. There is not only a need to maintain relevancy, bring attention to the brand, and attract new consumers, but with so much equity built into the brand, a company can go too far, too fast, and alienate longtime customers, who not only have an affinity for the brand but may also have a sense of ownership from decades of patronage. The new toucan hasn’t yet made its way to the packaging which, as any parent knows, could lead to a time of panic and confusion, one where young children feel they are being gaslighted by their parents when they say “I swear this is Fruit Loops, pay no attention to this toucan.”

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While grown-up Froot Loop fans are upset, voicing their disapproval over social media, no one knows how Toucan Sam’s new trippy visage will get received by kids. Will youngsters clamor for Froot Loops, despite parental disapproval of Sam’s new look? 

In a new commercial dubbed "Toucan Sam's Froot Loops World," the new mascot invites children to travel through a Froot Loop portal where they are transported to a magical world of milk waterfalls, floating cereal, and narwhals that feels more Adventure Time than Kellogg's.

Worst comes to worst, Kellogg’s can pull a Paramount and scale back Toucan Sam’s makeover as the studio delayed their tentpole CGI romp after a massive backlash over Sonic the Hedgehog’s on-screen new look. But for now, we all have something we can collectively lose our minds over.

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