Mascot Design Evolution: Tony the Tiger

Share this post

For over 50 years, Tony the Tiger has advocated how “Gr-r-reat!” Frosted Flakes cereal is for breakfast in the morning. However, unlike most brand mascots who were born to be the faces of the products they represented, Tony had to audition for his role.

The debut of Sugar Frosted Flakes cereal by Kellogg in 1951 called for four rotating spokes-animals including Katy the Kangaroo, Elmo the Elephant, Newt the Gnu, and Tony the Tiger. While the creator of Tony is often disputed (with credit given to everyone in the ad industry from Don Tennant to Gene Kolkey to Martin Provensen and Jack Tolzien), what we do know is that of the four rotating characters on the cereal box, the tiger was a hit with the public.

In his introduction, Tony was striped with a signature red kerchief around his neck. He walked on all fours and his head was shaped like a football. Eventually, to fit the needs of a health-conscious nation, he would stand over six feet tall on two feet with a leaner build.

Voiced for 50 years by voice actor Thurl Ravenscroft, Tony also had a family. He had a mother, wife, and daughter, but the most memorable member is his son, Tony Jr. who appeared in a few commercials alongside his father.

The father and son duo even sang together in commercial spots, though admittedly this ditty is nowhere as memorable as the simple, but lasting, catchphrase “They’re Gr-r-reat!”

Tony the Tiger says –
Frosted Flakes are GREAT!
Kellogg’s
Sugar Frosted Flakes

Get on the beam
Put a tiger on your team
Eat Kellogg’s
Sugar Frosted Flakes

Heather Taylor

Icon Researcher & Blogger at Advertising Week
Heather Taylor

Share this post
1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.