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The Strange Phenomenon of Drawing Creepy Children to Sell Food

issue #7

Do you have children? Do you feed them? If you answered YES to both of these questions, then I have another one for you.

When you feed your children; do they look like crazy, demon possessed, insane asylum patients?




The Corporate America of yesteryear certainly felt that they did – as evidenced by many of the advertising campaigns of the past. Major corporations bought advertising ideas from companies who employed storyboard artists – who either had never been around children when they were eating or just simply loathed all children. Take Dom Draper, remove his misogynistic alcoholism, and then replace it with a burning hatred against anyone male or female, under 18 years old.

The children in these ads all seemed to be drawn the same way; with pig noses and unnerving smiles. Most had creepy freckles that aligned with some sinister mathematical concept first conceived by the Mayans and their death calendar. These children also all seem to be locked in an eternal stare that breaks the fourth wall and if you gaze upon them long enough, a voice begins to tell you to go burn things.


EXHIBIT A: This Van Camp’s pork and beans advert turns an already disgusting item into a geniune crime against humanity.


Who else is hungry?


The vacant stares and crazy enthusiasm for the product featured in these ads make the children way more scarier than any kid that crawls out of well and makes you watch VHS tapes. EXHIBIT B:  Swift restaurant takes the Little Debbie girl and turns her into a ham steak and pea lusting crazy person.


 Got milk… or any of your soul?



The children are drawn with double chins and with open mouths containing flailing, wagging tongues. EXHIBIT C: Nothing like a borderline racial slur to make you want to suck up some Canada Dry!


Ginger Ale, it’s a gateway for us Irish folk to get to that sweet, sweet whiskey! See! My cheeks are already flushed!



EXHIBIT D: This ad campaign from Van Camps unwittingly inspires the Gluttony scene from the movie Se7en


Spanish Rice in a can… yum?



The use of flushed cheeks is often over the top, producing images of children who look like they are recovering from second degree burns or a botched skin peel. EXHIBIT E: Kellogg’s props up a cadaver and feeds it corn flakes.


He’s in a suit because they just pulled him out of a coffin.



EXHIBIT F: Orange Juice is the greatest thing ever invented. Up yours, ice cream!




The horror wasn’t just limited to advertisments for food products. The concept of freckled child with a satanic stare made its way into plenty of other ads. EXHIBIT G: I can’t wait to ride my new Schwinn bicycle straight into Hell!




Eventually the ads become even less subtle as evidenced by EXHIBIT H: Let’s just draw a naked baby Lucifer. That seems a perfectly logical way to try to sell a recipe for pie made with Karo syrup.


Every time I look at this ad, all I can think about is Sympathy for the Devil by the Rolling Stones. Well, that and I need to go buy Karo syrup.



Oh and then there’s this thing… EXHIBIT I: DEAR GOD WHAT THE FLYING F*CK IS THAT?!


Kill it! Kill it with fire!


Luckily, photography replaced illustrations as the principle media for pushing products on the American consumer, and we no longer had to look at bizarre crazy looking children when deciding which bicycle, orange juice, or upset stomach remedy to purchase.





Eh… never mind.



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About Jack DeVoss (77 Articles)
Jackson Holden Solo DeVoss learned how to write poems from an old blind man he met while incarcerated in a Madagascan prison for crime he did not commit. After serving three long hard years, Solo was finally paroled when a wealthly lady friend paid the ransom for his release. Solo then traveled to a Shaolin monastery located high in the mountains of Myanmar; where he learned the mastery of many mystical and ancient arts from the Head Abbot, a crippled monk named Brother Lars who quoted Oscar Wilde too often. Two years later, Brother Lars and most of the other monks were killed - during an attack that was carried out under the cover of a horrendous snowstorm by ninja assassins of the Dark Hand Cult. Solo and a few others escaped, but the monastery was burnt to the ground. After slumming around Southeast Asia for five years, Solo migrated back to his home in the United States - where he became a vigilante crimefighter, fighting against the nefarious schemes of the Dark Hand Cult and its ninja assassins. He also published his first book, 'Names For Boys And Girls' and a collection of poems entitled 'Columbus Lost Another Genius'. Solo now lives in an abandoned church in Columbus, Ohio where he writes freelance, fights crime, and has a major drinking problem.

22 Comments on The Strange Phenomenon of Drawing Creepy Children to Sell Food

  1. Children of the Canned Corn..


  2. What’s wrong with Don Draper and Co.?


  3. these really freak me out, and i am alternately fascinated/horrifed by them.


  4. Jeez… I am fricking terrified….


  5. Where did you get these old ads? They are indeed terrifying compared to today’s advertizing.


  6. My God! We’ve all been drinking Grove’s Tasteless Chill Tonic all these years, AND DIDN’T KNOW IT! There’s your obesity cause, America! There! Look at it! LOOK!


  7. This is actually terrifying! Can we all agree to strike these from the books? The Van Camp’s beans one really got me. I always think about the process of creating an advertisement and how that must have played out… Someone brought that picture into a room full of professionals and they said, “YES, that is the one!”


  8. The tonic one… besides being creepy, makes my grammar nazi appear… is it a cure for tasteless chills or a cure without flavor that cures chills? Then, there’s the whole modern take on it – “God damn it, my kid is far too chill… and tasteless… hmm if only they had a cure for that.”


  9. Exhibit I is the best antidote to the obesity epidemic I’ve ever seen. I feel the urge to purge, or else the image will be forever burned on my retinas.


  10. This provided just the humor I needed to finish typing some exams. Thanks!


  11. Creepy. The one kid looks like he’s going to eat his boogers. eeeewww! Hilarious post! 🙂


  12. Lol hilarious!!!


  13. These kids are demented! Too funny. What are they on? I guess that was advertising back then?


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