Jacki Weaver advertising Rice Krinkles (1965)
This commercial for the Nabisco-owned breakfast cereal Rice Krinkles features an 18-year-old Jacki Weaver.
In the early days of television advertising, corporate brands identified the teenage market as a growing business opportunity, and turned to popular stars as a way to enter the world of youth culture.
In this highly effective 30-second advertisement, Jacki Weaver dances her way around a modern-looking kitchen. The music is generic, but reminiscent of the pop hits of the day.
Not only is Weaver the star of the advertisement but the message is successfully reinforced in-store by having her face on the actual box, smiling back at potential customers from the supermarket shelves.
It was a mutually beneficial arrangement; the brand hoped to become 'cool' by association, while the star gained valuable exposure.
Weaver made her professional debut in the theatre, and by the mid-1960s, she had made special appearances on Bandstand and was cast in the Aboriginal-themed ABC children's progran Wandjina! She was also known for her romantic relationship with singer Bryan Davies.
At the time she appeared in this commercial, Weaver was a star on the rise, with a fresh look reminiscent of Hollywood performer Ann-Margret.
She'd go on to have a remarkable career on Australian film, starting with Stork in 1971. Her career would reach new heights following her Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 2010, for her work in the Australian crime drama Animal Kingdom – which she followed up with a second Oscar nomination in 2012, for Silver Linings Playbook.
In advertisements such as this, the main focus is not on the features of the product (for example, nutritional value) but on its perceived coolness. This is not just a box of cereal, it's the 'with-it way to start the day'.
Produced in the USA by Post Cereals and Nabisco in Australia, Rice Krinkles are briefly described by the narrator as delicious, but most importantly, those who bought the product would also be able to learn the hottest dance steps from Weaver herself, as well as collect memorabilia of popular bands such as The Easybeats.
Beatlemania was at its peak around the world, leading the way in which music artists could expand their brand beyond records and concerts, and partner with corporations to sell any product imaginable.
While 21st century pop stars would very likely be reluctant to be associated with sugary products, the corporate sponsorship model is still a fundamental piece of the pop culture industry.
Learn the latest hot dance steps from packets of Rice Krinkles, and collect the latest pop star pin-ups.
Rice Krinkles, deliciously toasted rice flakes.
Rice Krinkles, the with-it way to start the day. Look for Jacki on the front!