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Published on April 30th, 2012 | by Nathaniel


They’re Great!?


*Includes ranking of the 10 most optimistic characters that have shaped our history (open for debate)

Optimism like Tony the Tiger’s is powerful. But before we go there, I’m going to take you through my early days. If you sum Super Soaker water guns + Stretch Armstrong action figures + Mortal Kombat video games + Street Fighter computer games + Goosebumps novels, divide by a Ms. Fields’ baking oven (don’t judge me), add the square-root of Cartoon Network, and then multiply by Tony the Tiger- you’ll get my childhood. You might think I’m kidding but Mr. Tiger had one of the biggest impacts on my childhood. I wanted the collector item watches (complimentary with purchase); I wanted the Kid’s Club Membership; I wanted everything Tony the Tiger. What is it about the image of Tony that makes so many kids excited to eat Frosted Flakes? Are Frosted Flakes really that good? Your taste-buds know the truth and they’re probably telling you that Cinnamon Toast Crunch is better, right?


If it’s not the actual cereal, then what is it that makes Frosted Flakes so appealing? It’s Mr. Tiger’s optimism! When he says “They’re great!” at the end of that 30 second commercial right after he is shown white-water rafting, playing soccer, or dunking- we really believe him. I’m sure deep down inside he knows that the Ralphs generic brand- “Flaky Frosted Cereal Pieces” taste just about the same. But he doesn’t let that change his outlook- he wants you to share in his belief, bowl up, and crunch into some Frosted Flakes. The advertisers at Kellogs are aware of the power of an image. They have spent time researching how kids in the target market respond to Tony’s image. Because of that research, they have constructed numerous campaigns and advertisements that appeal to that audience. While there is an element of “preferred-taste” that goes into your decision of whether or not to buy Frosted Flakes, it’s not the only one. When you decide to spend $3.17 for a 23 ounce box of Frosted Flakes rather than $2.29 for 23 ounces of the generic brand, you are being convinced by the image or brand.


Why all this Tiger-talk? Because like Mr. Tony the Tiger, your internal-optimism has the power to attract the relationships and life you desire. Even if there is that little ounce of doubt, choosing to remain optimistic will help attract the resources you need. Regardless of the circumstances or situations, the right tone, attitude, and smile can convince you and others to hold on tighter, to stand taller, and to hope longer. During an Associate Student Body Leadership Retreat my senior year of high school, a speaker named Keith Hawkins gave a motivational speech to all the attendees. I can’t remember everything he said, but I remember him saying, “By smiling, we grow.” These words have permeated my thoughts and help me smile through some of the biggest doubts and deepest upsets. I mean- imagine if Mr. Tony the Tiger was frowning…would “They’re great!” really be so convincing?


Proverbs 17:22 – “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.”


  1. Tony the Tiger-   Frosted Flakes
  2. Dory-   Finding Nemo (Keep swimming!)
  3. Kel Kimble as Kel Mitchell-   Kennan & Kel (Who Loves Orange Soda!?)
  4. Yakko, Wakko, & Dot-   The Animaniacs
  5. Spongebob Squarepants- Spongebob Squarepants
  6. Rob Lowe as Chris Traeger –   Parks & Recreation (Hilarous!)
  7. Dora-   Dora The Explorer (“Backpack, backpack…”)
  8. Paula Abdul-   American Idol
  9. Tigger-    Winnie the Pooh
  10. Genie-   Aladdin

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