Frute Brute vs Caitlyn Crunch: Queer breakfast cereals ignite PC biz battle

Frute Brute (a.k.a. Fruit Brute), the General Mills breakfast cereal mascot from the 1970s, will soon be howling his way back onto kitchen tables across America. With his phallic snout and rainbow-striped jumpsuit, he has always been a beloved gay icon, but Big G kept him in the closet except on the occasional Halloween, when he was allowed to temporarily cruise grocery store aisles with his best friends Count Chocula and Frankenberry.[1]

But times have changed. When Bruce Jenner, former Wheaties spokesman, transitioned to a female named Caitlyn, it became obvious that the time was right to bring Fruit Brute out of the closet year-round.

“This is a fabulous event in the history of civil rights in this country,” claimed Seth Adam, speaking on behalf of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Senator Al Franken, who once threatened to sue Frankenberry for trading on his name and image, could not be reached for an irrelevant comment.

When Mike Huckabee heard the news, he exclaimed “Gol-lee!” and “Shazam!” before pausing for a long, silent prayer. He later issued a written statement, in which he declared: “As a nation, we need to be kneeling down, not bending over for Frute Brute!”

In honor of Caitlyn Jenner and her brave decision to identify as a woman and suffer the consequences of appearing on magazine covers, Quaker Oats immediately announced that it will be launching “Caitlyn Crunch,” a rainbow-colored version of its perennially popular Cap’n Crunch. According to Advertising Age, Caitlyn Crunch will be introduced in a series of animated commercials as Cap’n Crunch’s “little buddy”—a cryptic nod to the sexually ambiguous relationship between Gilligan and The Skipper in the 1960s sitcom Gilligan’s Island. As part of the deal, product placement of Caitlyn Crunch will be extensively employed in every episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians until the show is finally cancelled.

Breakfast cereals based on sexual orientation present new problems for brand managers, notes Philip Kotler, the internationally-renowned marketing guru. As a distinguished professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, he knows a thing or two about cereal, if not sex. “Gender identity has become so blurred that marketing theorists can barely keep up with it,” he told the San Francisco Business Journal. “Especially now that LGBT has become LGBTQA. For example, at my university, Northwestern, Q means Queer, but at the University of Texas, Q means Questioning.[2,3] Well, we know how to market to Queers, but how are we supposed to market to Questionings?”

As if to emphasize Professor Kotler’s point, the legendary newsman Les Nessman once asked: “If a guy dates a girl who used to be a guy, but isn’t anymore, what does that make the guy who dates the girl who used to be a guy?”

To which Dr. Johnny Fever responded: “That’s a toughie.”[4]

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