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Tony the Tiger Facts

Have you heard of Frosties cereal? If you have, then you will probably know Tony the Tiger. Tony the Tiger is the famous mascot for the frosted flakes cereal.

This article will tell you a little bit more about where Tony the Tiger came from and how he became one of the most famous mascots of all time.

History

Tony the Tiger is the cartoon mascot for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes (we normally call them Frosties). Tony is a breakfast cereal icon. He is known to children and adults around the world.

Kelloggs Frosties box

Tony the Tiger is pretty old now. He made his debut (first appearance) in the 1950s (1952 to be precise).

Kellogg’s decided that having a brightly coloured animal mascot would help them sell more cereal and make Frosties cereal famous and appealing to young children.

Kellogg’s had a brand new breakfast cereal in 1951. They launched a competition in the same year for someone to create a new mascot for it.

A graphic artist called Eugene Kolkey sketched out Tony the Tiger, who became the official mascot of the cereal.

Tony the Tiger was named after a man in advertising called Raymond Anthony Wells. This man’s middle name, Anthony, is sometimes shortened to Tony (hence, Tony the Tiger). 

Tiger

Tony the Tiger was the winning mascot, but he could have easily been beaten by other mascots in the competition. The other potential mascots were Katy the Kangaroo, which was designed by Robert Dulaney.

Another competition entry was Elmo the Elephant and Newt the Gnu. A Gnu is a type of antelope. 

Katy the Kangaroo made a brief appearance on one or two boxes in the early days, but Tony the Tiger proved to be the natural favourite and has featured on the box and other advertisements since.

Disney and cereal mascots

The people at Kellogg’s cereal asked a group of animators who used to work at Disney to come up with the final designs for Tony the Tiger.

disneyworld-florida

These animators designed lots of advertising mascots that we still know and love today.

To name just a couple, they invented Snap, Crackle and Pop – the three characters for the breakfast cereal Rice Krispies – and also the Jolly Green Giant for sweetcorn. 

During the 1950s and 1960s, the world of advertising was becoming really popular, especially for children who could now watch television.

early-television-set

People also had a bit more spare money than they had during the War. For the first time, some parents could afford to treat their children with additional money to spend on extra things like toys, breakfast cereals and candy.

Kellogg’s and Tony the Tiger were at the forefront of this trend.

Snap Crackle Pop Krispies

Tony makes it big  

Tony the Tiger took America by storm when he had a full size advertisement printed in Life Magazine. In 1955, Tony the Tiger was featured in this national magazine.

There was a picture of him grabbing a microphone from the famous Groucho Marx and saying “You Bet Your Life They’re Gr-r-reat”.

This is when Tony’s catchphrase “They’re Gr-r-reat!” was born.

Tony gets a personality

Tony the Tiger became very popular and he was given a personality all of his own.

He had Italian-American nationality and even had a family: Mama Tony, Mrs. Tony and a daughter, Antoinette (like the female version of Anthony, or Tony for short).

italy boot

Tiger of the year

During the Chinese year of the Tiger in 1974, Tony the Tiger was given a slogan: “This is the Year of the Tiger and Tony is the Tiger of the Year.”

Tony made front pages of two famous magazines and he helped Kellogg’s sell a lot of Frosties for years to come.

Tony has featured in many television advertisements as an animated character. He is still on the cereal box to this day!

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