Pop Tarts are a brand of toaster pastries from Kellogg's that first emerged in 1964. The main appeal of Pop Tarts is the ability to heat the pastries quickly and conveniently in a toaster, a feature prominently advertised in the first Pop Tart commercials, starring an anthropomorphic toaster named Milton. Since then, Pop Tarts have become quite popular, and gone through several commercials that show off the efficiency of eating Pop Tarts toasted, untoasted, or even frozen.
Their most successful advertising campaign, "Crazy Good," began in 2004 as a result of an effort to revitalize the Pop Tarts brand by focusing more on children. The Pop Tarts marketing team held workshops in schools where they collected children's artistic renditions of a "Pop Tart kid world," which appeared to be an inventive, cartoonish world where Pop Tarts had individual personalities. There are two kinds of characters featured in the "Crazy Good" advertisements: the anthropomorphic Pop Tarts, and the ravenously hungry "Crazy Good Kids." Most of the ads have the Pop Tarts characters get eaten one way or another - usually by the kids, but occasionally by an animal or even each other. Other characters pop up in the ads as well, the most prominent ones being the singing lizard who first appeared in the "Popartica" commercial and the pink poodle from the French Toast Pop Tarts commercial. They enjoy snacking on the poor Pop Tarts as well.
Crazy Good Tropes:
- Accordion to Most Sailors: In a commercial from the 2000s, an anthropomorphic Apple Strudel pop-tart sails on a ship playing an accordion.
- Animate Inanimate Object:
Toaster: "Toaster makes funny noises?" What?! I'm just telling people what makes Kellogg's Pop Tarts good!
- Their first mascot was a friendly talking toaster named Milton.
- A series of 1996 commercials featured a talking CGI toaster (presumably different from Milton) voiced by Gilbert Gottfried, demanding more appreciation for making Pop-Tarts hot. It's implied in another commercial that the talking got the toaster sent to a repair shop.
- Anthropomorphic Food:
- A commercial campaign in The '90s depicted boxes of Wild Berry Pop Tarts, as well as the fruits of which they're made, as if they were feral animals. "You may want to bite them before they bite you!"
- The "Crazy Good" commercials star giant sentient Pop Tarts.
- Black Comedy: The main joke of the "Crazy Good" commercials is seeing Pop Tarts get eaten. One commercial has a baby Pop Tart get eaten shortly after his birth.
- Chameleon Camouflage: During the "Hide 'n' Seek" campaign, the Splitz tart hides by standing against the door and wall of a nearby shop, which blend in with both his halves. Unfortunately, he gets snapped down the middle when somebody opens the door.
- Dwindling Party: In one Christmas-themed ad, a group of tarts going caroling door-to-door. After each house, one tart is missing from the group, implying they've been eaten by the homeowner, until only a single tart is left, nervously singing "Silent Night." Then the owner invites the last tart inside her house...
- Genie in a Bottle: Parodied in the "Popartica" ad, where a Pop-Tart genie emerges from a toaster.
- Gratuitous Japanese: The "Ninja" commercial had the ninja tart speak snippets of Japanese.
- Groupie: A fangirl Pop-Tart approaches what she believes is her favorite band's tour bus. The lizard directs her to stand on top to meet them. In reality, it's a toaster.Lizard: Groupies are easy.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Due to hiding right on top of a door hinge, the Splitz tart gets split right down the middle as soon as somebody opens the door.
- Hope Spot: One commercial had a Pop Tart pop himself out of the toaster and briefly enjoy freedom...before flying right into the freezer.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Implied in the commercial for Printed Fun Pop Tarts. A couple of Pop Tarts eat pictures that show up on their frosting. Then another Pop Tart walks up, and the picture on its icing is...a screaming Pop Tart. The other two tarts slowly back away as the cannibalistic Pop Tart approaches them menacingly.
- Let's Meet the Meat: The "I Want to Live!" variant frequently occurs in the "Crazy Good" commercials, where the large anthropomorphic Pop Tarts desperately try to escape the hungry kids.
- Loophole Abuse: One commercial features a "Two Flavors" figure skating competition. It's intended for two tarts of different flavors to join, but the Splitz tart joins on his own and wins because he is technically two flavors.
- No Party Like a Donner Party: One ad has two Pop Tarts stuck in a freezer, trying to figure out how to escape. One tart declares that they need food, then eyes the other. Then it cuts to the first tart alone in the freezer with a Balloon Belly.
- Signs of Disrepair: The "Pop the Vote" ad started as a "MEET THE CANDIDATES" debate between various Pop Tarts. Once the moderator (the pink poodle) sends the candidates into a toaster beneath the stage, the "M" on the sign flickers out, so it reads, "EET THE CANDIDATES."
- Stick Figure Animation: The "Crazy Good" ads.
- Three Wishes: When a kid releases a Pop-Tart genie from a toaster, he gets three wishes. His first wish is for a singing lizard, and his second is for the biggest box of Pop Tarts in the world. His lizard says his third wish should be a bigger toaster.
- Tongue on the Flagpole: Exploited when a strawberry milkshake Pop Tart sees the North Pole, clumsily edited to say "Lick This Pole," and licks it. This traps the tart in the snow, so a nearby girl can eat it frozen.
- Too Dumb to Live: The "Cinnamon Buns Are Easy" commercial (later redone with a strawberry tart) features a Pop Tart desperately looking for a hiding place away from the kids. The lizard directs the tart to hide in a giant toaster. The tart jumps in, and once the kids are gone, the lizard activates the toaster to cook the tart.Lizard: Too easy.
- Would Hurt a Child: The doctor in the PB&J ad eats a newborn PB&J Pop Tart. In front of the parents, no less.
- Yodel Land: The apple strudel Pop Tart speaks with a German accent, wears lederhosen, and is so obsessed with yodeling, the Crazy Good Kids yodeling easily lures him out of his hiding place.