Go back to 2006, Kelloggs’ ran one of the worst ads to have ever graced the medium of television. ‘They’re Gonna Taste Great!’ was an ad for the brand Frosties/Frosted Flakes that was played so often, that it had garnered a following of people that really hated it. Even parents would roll their eyes when it came on the television. The repetitive song, the smiling kid and cheesiness of it struck a chord with everyone.
Pretty much everyone believed the kid in the ad had killed himself. The weirdest rumor I heard was that he put two pens up his nose and smacked his face on the ground and killed himself. Other rumors were he hung himself or that he was beaten/stabbed to death on the street by people who recognized him. Nobody actually knew what happened and frankly that was a good thing, because if people really knew who this guy was back then, I am pretty sure he would have been greeted with a tsunami of hatred.
Rebecca Black’s ‘It’s Friday’ was ridiculed to the point it stopped being funny and a lot of us felt bad for her. In truth, it was Ark Studios that made the music video and lyrics a steaming pile of crap. For those of you who don’t know the story, Ark Studios would create a package for prepubescent kids to make a music video. The music videos were all low-quality with tacky lyrics and they were obviously trying to tag along with whatever was popular. They had a lot of Justin Bieber look alikes. Rebecca Black’s song ‘Friday’ was actually one of the less crap music videos, if you can believe that. That didn’t stop the Internet from absolutely destroying her and even today she is still ridiculed.
The ‘They’re Gonna Taste Great’ Kid predated her and instead of being discovered on YouTube by random folks and becoming viral, his discovery was a planned marketing campaign to raise awareness of Frosties/Frosted Flakes tasting grrrrrrrrrreat! It wasn’t the worst marketing campaign ever conceived, you can leave that to Malaysian Airlines. In 2014, they lost two planes with their entire crew and passengers. Their marketing team decided the best way to bring in some customers was to spearhead a campaign of ticking off your ‘Bucket List’. If being shot down over Ukraine by Russians is on your bucket list, you should go for it.
I can understand what it was they were going for with this campaign, they wanted this upbeat catchy tune with a photogenic kid to be the poster child of Frosties. They shouldn’t have gone over the top because like a lot of terrible marketing, it has a core element that is good, but through the chopping board and with all the different inputs and visions, the end product is usually a demented zombie mutant of what it once was. In other words, it follows the logic that a camel is a horse designed by a committee.
Obviously the people behind the ad were thinking about creating an experience, rather than just an ad and the end product was something so over the top it was just lambasted with criticism and hate. By the end of it all, the rumors flew all over the Internet and playgrounds and it was one of the single worst marketing campaigns ever put through.
Now, 10 years on, where is the ‘They’re Gonna Taste Great’ kid? Thankfully his name was not revealed for the longest time and since then everyone has cooled off. His real name is Sven Ruygrok and he is a South African. The ad never aired in South Africa and that is what probably led him to keep a normal life. I don’t think he deserves any of the abuse he got. Sure, it is a crap ad and it tries too hard, but he didn’t direct or write it. In the end he didn’t kill himself. He has been working to become an actor and he has a few credits to his name on IMDB. None of them are hardly anything ground breaking but they are all miles better than being that kid from the Frosties ad everyone hates. I am not even sure why he is trying to pursue a career in acting. That isn’t attacking his ability to act, I watched Alien Outpost(2014) and I didn’t really think much of it or him, but the problem of becoming famous for the wrong reasons is that it generally follows you. Though, Sven has made a following on YouTube for a different reason. He has become a YouTuber and makes content about himself. It isn’t the kind of stuff I would ever watch, in fact I would call it the crap I would dislike if I accidentally clicked on it, but hey, at least he is trying to get himself out there. So, ladies and gentlemen, here is the ‘They’re Gonna Taste Great’ kid in 2016, enjoy.
It was maybe a blessing that the ad was aired in 2006. If it was aired in 2016, it would not be as forgotten as easily as it was and he might have ended up like a Rebecca Black. In the end she did make other content but it was always in the shadow of the song ‘Friday’ and her career won’t take off as a result. Sven is lucky that being that kid from that crap ad will not follow him.