Elemental Thinking #20: Quaker Oats Life Cereal "Hey Mikey"
Doyle Dane Bernbach made this iconic commercial in 1972. The commercial features three brothers eating breakfast. Three bowls of Life cereal sit before them. The two older brothers note that it's "supposed to be healthy." Neither wants to try it. ("I'm not gonna try it – you try it!"). So they get their little brother Mikey to try it. ("Let's get Mikey. He hates everything."). Mikey stares at the cereal, then reluctantly has a spoonful. Soon, he's eating vigorously, prompting his brothers to exclaim, "He likes it! Hey, Mikey."
It was an unforgettable moment. (The phrase is still used today, 40 years later.) The spot put real life into Life cereal. Sales rocketed. It was simple, brilliant, elemental thinking.