Snap! Crackle! and Pop!

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Rice Krispies Snap Crackle and Pop HistorySnap! Crackle! Pop! Rice Krispies®

The cute gnomes we all know as Snap! Crackle! and Pop! are advertising icons. They were the very first advertising characters the Kellogg Company used to sell their products, and they are the longest running character advertisement to date for Kellogg – they’ve graced boxes and ads for more than 75 years.

Rice Krispies® Cereal hit the market in 1928. The cereal is made of rice grains that are cooked, dried and toasted, resulting in crisped rice. When milk or cream is added, the thin walls of the rice collapse, making the famous sounds Snap! Crackle! and Pop! ® These sounds became the slogan for Rice Krispies® and was featured on radio ads such as this one:

“Listen to the fairy song of health, the merry chorus sung by Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® as they merrily snap, crackle, and pop in a bowl of milk. If you’ve never heard food talking, now is your chance!”

Vintage Rice Krispies Box

Vintage Rice Krispies Box

In 1932, an illustrator was listening to the radio when he heard this jingle, and was inspired to create animations to match the sounds. Vernon Grant sat down and brought to life the magical gnomes Snap, Crackle and Pop. He brought his idea to Kellogg, and the company loved the characters so much, they bought the advertising concept that very day.

Snap was the first of the trio to appear on Rice Krispies® boxes. He wore a huge baker’s cap and held a spoon just like he does today, but his ears and nose were much bigger. Crackle and Pop joined their older brother a few years later. Crackle wore a red and white striped stocking cap and Pop donned a bandleader’s hat and uniform. The trio was even given individual personalities. Snap, the oldest brother, solves the problems his younger brothers create. Crackle is the middle child with a fun-loving personality that helps keep order between his brothers. Pop is the jokester, clumsy and never serious.

The three gnomes first made it to the big screen in 1939 where they were featured in one-minute shorts called Breakfast Pals, in which they sang and danced and fought their enemies – Soggy, Mushy and Toughy. In the 1940s, Snap Crackle and Pop were the heroes of their own comic strips on the back of Rice Krispies® boxes. This is when their appearances began to change. Their hats, ears and noses got smaller and more human looking, and they started to look more like the characters we know today. They also began to sing the song, “Snap! Crackle! Pop! Rice Krispies,”® which is the jingle we all associate with Rice Krispies Cereal.®

The gnomes’ popularity has spread all over the world, with advertisements and commercials shown internationally. It’s fun to hear how people in other countries say the famous slogan “Snap! Crackle! Pop!®”:

  • Sweden: Piff! Paff! Puff!
  • Germany: Knisper! Knasper! Knusper!
  • Mexico: Pim! Pum! Pam!
  • Finland: Poks! Riks! Raks!
  • Holland: Pif! Paf! Pof!
  • South Africa: Knap! Knaetter! Knak!

And in Canadian French its: Cric! Crac! Croc!

What are your breakfast memories with Snap! Crackle! and Pop!? Discuss below.


Last updated: Jun 27, 2008
Filed under: Retro Characters Tagged with: advertising, retro cereal, Retro Characters