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RantOmatic#6: KaBoom

In this immortal screed Ace of Spades HQ types for me.
I mean, look at this box. Who is that box for? Who is the intended demographic here ?

People who are coming up in the world? People who are upwardly mobile?

No. Kaboom was for people — children, I mean — who had decided to give up on life. And it’s a sad thing for a six-year-old to have already thrown in the towel and said, “Ah well. The hopes and dreams of kindergarten are ultimately exposed as so much folly. Give me the Kaboom, Ma. I’m ready to settle.”

Because that’s all such a cereal is fit for, those who settle, who accept, those who lower their gaze in defeat and shame. This, this horrid Clown Cereal that looks like it’s some kind of weird generic brand but it’s actually marketed by General Mills. I suppose this was General Mills’ attempt to tap the “downscale demographic” in six-year-olds.

First of all, children hate clowns. All children. There’s a joke that everyone’s afraid of clowns. Well that’s not true. But everyone does hate them. Children most of all, because clowns get up in your grill with horrible jokes and diseased breath, eyes glassy with vodka and pedophilia.

So who’s this cereal for exactly? I suppose clowns might buy it for their victims and abductees, but that’s not a large market. Well, not that large, anyway. Couple hundred thousand units a year, tops.

When marketers found that most children described the Kaboom clown as “creepy,” they called a meeting, and then added a creepy bear and creepy hippo into the mix. Note that the hippo is not really your classic circus animal but this is in line with Kaboom’s “Who Cares?” design parameters.

And look at that box. Look at the colors. They’re horrible. And this was not a color scheme that was in vogue back in the day, either. No, among all the other breakfast cereals, Kaboom stood out as a cereal where the manufacturers simply were not even trying, because they wanted to appeal to children who had already decided that Track 3 in reading class was probably a bridge too far and not really worth the effort.

It’s like they gave a bunch of crayons and construction paper to illiterate hobos and said, “Do your best. Or your worst. We don’t care. We’re aiming for the dregs of second grade. Try to include a clown. Or don’t. It really won’t matter either way.”

RTWT @ Ace of Spades HQ

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Mokh-Mokh August 17, 2019, 10:21 AM

    Classic in its searing poignancy. The truth is a relentless hunter.
    “Oh, we didn’t quite sink to Kaboom’s level. Not at first.
    We strove to endure.
    We were fighters.
    But the cereal did drag the family down. It very nearly ruined us all.
    And this is hard to say, but — in the end we surrendered ourselves to Kaboom.
    Ultimately, our sin wasn’t in consuming Kaboom. Our sin was in letting Kaboom consume us.”

  • Bunny August 17, 2019, 10:46 AM

    A spare and trenchant indictment, deftly and powerfully executed, of sub-par breakfast cereals and their deleterious effects on children. AoS’s “Kaboom” has earned earned its place in the pantheon of righteous screeds.

  • Jewel August 17, 2019, 1:09 PM

    Kaboom is one level of cereal hell above puffed rice. Puffed rice has all the carbs, texture and taste of packing peanuts. In our family breakfast was the first punishment of the day. Our breakfasts were puffed rice, powdered milk…which always has the tint of palest green, and Shaklee. Shaklee produced a line of vitamins guaranteed to make you vomit your squalid, meager porrage after having struggled to swill it down. If you didn’t choke on the horse pills…which Shaklee boasted that it put alfalfa in.
    Thank goodness for keto.

  • karen meadows August 19, 2019, 5:26 AM

    As one who practices the art of clowning I must protest that you have made such a generalized statement that maligns all of the practicing clowns “But everyone does hate them. Children most of all, because clowns get up in your grill with horrible jokes and diseased breath, eyes glassy with vodka and pedophilia”. I can understand your dislike of perhaps sugar sweetened breakfast cereal,or perhaps your own fear of clowns, but to pick on “us”as a group is uncalled for. I do not remember being asked by General Mills if my likeness could be used on their boxes– perhaps somewhere there is a class action suit in the making.

  • Vanderleun August 19, 2019, 10:39 AM

    In fairness there’s always this problem:

  • karen meadows August 19, 2019, 12:25 PM

    Well at clown school we like to call that “clown anxiety” not “scared of clowns” … but those white face guys (I will have to admit) are a bit “anxiety producing”. I am not a white face (particular type of clown)– (I think it is the white face against their teeth- cause no matter how white your teeth are they look very yellow against a white face)– I am more of your hobo type, jolly, with hot pink hair and hearts on my cheeks– so you understand when you lump us all in one group- some of us may be more sensitive. (LOL)