Barney Rubble once convinced Fred Flintstone he was Spock
In this commercial, it was Barney who would “live long and prosper” with the stolen Pebbles!
For over 50 years Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles cereal have been associated with Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble, the cornerstone characters of the all-time classic cartoon. It’s been a combo that is still successful to this day, as both kids and adults enjoy the stone-age inspired breakfast, made by Post Consumer Brands.
We’ve seen character-product crossovers before, but Pebbles and The Flintstones was a historic partnership when the product launched nationwide in 1971.
The cereal, originally titled Sugar Rice Krinkles, wasn’t performing the way Post had wanted it to, so a rebranding was in order. Wanting the cereal to land in the bowls of households across the country, the company went for some of the most recognizable cartoon characters of the time to catch consumers’ eyes.
Meet The Flintstones!
With licensing rights from Hanna-Barbera, which is now a subsidiary of Warner Brothers, Post incorporated Fred and Barney on the boxes of cereal, with the new name: Pebbles. The name was of course inspired by Fred Flintstone’s daughter, also named Pebbles. It was a game-changing move as far as brand/show crossovers went.
“Prior to that time, character licensing had only been used for product promotions. Pebbles cereal became the first brand created around a media character,” according to Post’s website.
Everyone remembers The Flintstones Pebbles commercials, that generally see Barney Rubble attempt (and succeed) in stealing Fred’s Pebbles.
Just like Cocoa Pebbles and Fruity Pebbles have been a morning staple in millions of households for years, Star Trek has been a classic TV staple for millions of fans across the world. The paths of two all-time classic TV shows, Star Trek and The Flintstones crossed, meeting in a 1990s Pebbles commercial.
In another effort to steal some Cocoa Pebbles, Barney is disguised as Spock from Star Trek. It’s clear licensing rights were negotiated for the spot, as Fred calls him “Mr. Spock” and refers to “The Enterprise,” making the commercial that much more appealing. Barney even creates his own communicator, leading him to Bedrock in search of “something super chocolatey!”
Fred graciously offers up his Cocoa Pebbles to “Spock" in exchange for a ride on The Enterprise. He yells, “beam me up” only to wind up in his basement next to Dino, the Flintstones’ pet! Only then does Fred realize it’s Barney behind the big ears of the Spock costume, angrily yelling the classic commercial line, “Barney! My Pebbles!”
The last line of the commercial, before a promotion of the actual product in Fred’s voice, is Barney saying “warp speed ahead” as he tries to escape Fred, who is chasing him and his Cocoa Pebbles.
While it’s not quite The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones crossover, we can say Spock at one point and in some way, used a transporter that landed him in Bedrock, thus producing a multi-show spot that appealed to wide range of consumers.
All while using that timeless Flintstones humor.