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Advertising / Quisp and Quake

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The original breakfast feud.
In 1965, Quaker Oats, still going strong with their previously-released cereal Cap'n Crunch, decided to put two new cereals onto the market. Teaming up with Jay Ward to create the characters and advertisements again: a pink propellor-topped alien named Quisp and a strong miner named Quake.

The cereals, practically identical to Cap'n Crunch in flavor, gave each other the gimmick of letting the children decide. Since the cereals had the same nutrients and same flavors, a "rivalry" was created between the two cereals. No matter who won, the company still earned money.

The advertising would have each character shill why their cereal was the best, using special abilities to save the day in some way to prove their cereal was better. Quisp had the power of "Qwazy energy" through his cereal, while Quake's cereal gave him "the power of an earthquake". Depend on who held the lead of the commercial, the other member of the rivalry would try to hopelessly shill their product as better, only to be dismissed by that commercial's lead.

Despite being on even footing, Quisp was the winner of the battle. While the kids liked Quake as a character, his cereal floundered in sales compared to Quisp's. A new honey-based version of the cereal's recipe, along with a much slimmer and cowboy-themed design for Quake was attempted to boost his popularity, but this also proved to not work out. Quake was eventually given a new partner, Simon the orange "Quangaroo", with his original cereal replaced by an orange-flavored one, while Quisp gained a sidekick in the dimwitted Quunchy.

Even with these changes, Quisp won in the end, his cereal being the one to stay. While the cereal was eventually retired, it was brought back in the late 1990s, with the gimmick of the "first online orderable cereal", though some specialty grocery stores carried the reboot as well.

The advertising campaigns provide examples of:

  • Abandoned Mascot: After losing the war between the two, Quake and Simon were both discontinued from the campaigns.
  • Alien Princess: Alien PRINCE, to be exact - Quisp is the Crown Prince of Planet Q (he rejects the "king" title because he thinks it's too pushy) and has large eyes, the ability to fly, and a "scrooch" gun.
  • Beneath the Earth: In contrast to Quisp being from "outer space", Quake was from "inner space", as in the center of the earth.
  • Binary Suns: Planet Q has three suns. Even at nighttime, it's sunny.
  • Cereal-Induced Superpowers: The commercials boasted various abilities. Apparently, eating Quisp gives you "quazy energy", while Quake grants you "earthquake power". On the other hand, Orange Quangaroos makes no such claims.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: Quake's original design made him a buff miner with short sleeves as part of his outfit. After his redesign, he became a slender cowboy with a long-sleeved outfit.
  • Expy: Quisp takes heavy inspiration from Gidney and Cloyd, the Moon Men from Rocky and Bullwinkle, another creation of Jay Ward. He shares their body design, the same "hair sprouts", wears green instead of actually being green, and carries a scrooch gun, their trademark weapon.
  • Insectoid Aliens: Downplayed with Quisp. He has large buggy eyes and the ability to fly, but he doesn't look very insectoid aside from that. This didn't stop Dr. Grabgrub from attempting to collect him like any other bug, however.
  • Great Gazoo: Quisp is an energetic alien with the ability to fly, and is loaded with "quazy energy".
  • Heli-Critter: Quisp has a propellor as part of his head that allows him to flight. He's the only member of his species to have this.
  • Momma's Boy: Despite being a strong and powerful superhero, Quake’s mother, Mother Lode, still doted on him like he was a child. He didn't seem to mind at all, however.
  • Princes Rule: Quisp is the Crown Prince of Planet Q, yet rules it like a king. According to himself, he could technically be the king, but "doesn’t want to be pushy".
  • The Rival: Quisp and Quake were both fully against each other, both proclaiming their cereals as the best one.
  • Shared Universe: Quisp and Quake also appeared in commercials featuring Cap'n Crunch. The Cap'n would be forced as the mediator between the two.
  • Super Speed: Quisp's cereal gives him "Qwazy energy", which gives him blinding speeds that he can zip through the air with.
  • Super Strength: Quake's cereal gives him "the power of an earthquake", letting him carry huge boulders and dig to the center of the earth.
  • Thriving Ghost Town: Quisp and Quunchy appear to be the only two citizens of Planet Q, yet keep the planet running.
  • Youthful Freckles: Quake's redesign gave him freckles to give him a much more youthful appearance.