April fools day special: Frost my flakes daddy

“Frost my flakes, daddy” and other obscene phrases drove Tony the Tiger off Twitter a year ago and he needs to make a triumphant return. Although this may be difficult due to his large presence in the furry community, he may be able to shed his sexual mascot image and regain his former glory as king of all children’s cereal mascots. Tony the Tiger should return to Twitter; it would be good for business and creates a unique form of fan interaction for the multi-million dollar company, Kellogg’s.

Tony’s Twitter account was set up by Kellogg’s in 2013. His image was wholesome and unproblematic for the majority of its existence, but two things changed that: Finnish artist Jani Leinonen and the furry community.

The furry community is a subculture of people who fetishize anthropomorphic animals.  Members of the community dress up in full-body fursuits and go to conventions. A large portion of the community is sexually attracted to the anthropomorphic animals. Members of this portion started leaving sexually explicit comments like “nut” and “thicc” under every single one of Tony’s posts almost immediately after the inception of his Twitter account.

I’d f*** this tiger

— Twitter user

But while Tony was being harassed on Twitter, artist Jani Leinonen released his Tony is Back! Campaign. The artist created a short string of videos similar to Kellogg’s cereal commercials in which Tony would deal with more serious matters like suicide, police brutality and terrorism. Leinonen’s campaign received some negative attention from Kellogg’s itself. “As a company grounded in the values of integrity and respect, we recognize people’s right to creative expression, … [but] Tony is a beloved icon and we will protect the integrity of our brands and our characters,” stated a Kellogg’s representative in response to Leinonen’s campaign.

Leinonen’s work led some news websites to Tony’s Twitter account. There they found out about the sexually explicit comments. Their articles about the comments set into motion a seemingly infinite loop of more people writing sexual comments and more articles about the topic. Some comments include “I’d f*** this tiger” and “did he bust a nut in those frosted flakes or what? I’m jealous of that box.  NOTICE ME STRIPE-SENPAI!

This cycle of sexual harassment was ended by Kellogg’s. Tony’s account was taken down and rebranded as the Frosted Flakes official account in late 2017.

Once Tony was gone, many of his furry fans felt betrayed. They went searching for another mascot to blindly follow and they found that in Chester Cheetah. Now that the spotlight has shifted away from Tony and his harassing fanbase seems to have moved on, this is the best moment for Tony to make his return.

The majority of Twitter’s user base seems to have forgotten about Tony completely.

Most people didn’t even know that this classic cereal mascot had a Twitter account that they could interact with, so once he was taken away, many felt robbed of the chance to interact with their beloved Tony the Tiger. Google Searches for Tony’s Twitter had been steadily increasing up to the day Kellogg’s pulled the plug, proving Tony was gaining noticeable internet fame. It’s a shame that Kellogg’s didn’t capitalize on its growing fan base as it would have brought in a wave of new customers.

Most of the news coverage about Tony has come to a screeching halt. The majority of Twitter’s user base seems to have forgotten about Tony completely.

In this day and age it’s very important for big corporations and brands to have a large social media presence, especially on Twitter. The higher ups at Kellogg’s may disagree and say his sexually harassing fans tarnished the image of their golden poster boy and how bring his account back doesn’t seem to be worth the trouble, but in fact the opposite may be true.

One of the most prominent examples of a successful Twitter account is the fast food restaurant Wendy’s, who’s popularity skyrocketed after its mascot Wendy’s witty remarks were discovered in early 2017. Since then people searching for the red-haired girls’s Twitter increased by 98 percent.

Tony can come back stronger than ever

After social media boosted Wendy’s popularity, many other companies and celebrities have realized the importance of a strong social media presence. They understand that Twitter can reach untapped markets, and how the social media platform is an easy way to directly reach the younger generation. Many other companies have joined in with Wendy’s, including Burger King, DiGiorno and Cheetos. This has become a huge market that Kellogg’s should be able to capitalize on as well; it’s a great way to bring in new customers.

In Twitter’s eyes, Tony is a distant memory who was quickly replaced by another corporate mascot in a matter of days. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. With a quick rebranding of Kellogg’s Twitter account, beloved Tony can come back stronger than ever.