Meet the Long-Lost Fourth Member of Snap, Crackle, Pop

Cereal consumers haven't seen this little guy since the 1950s.

snap crackle popvia ricekrispies.comIn 1941, Snap, Crackle, and Pop first appeared on boxes of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies to represent the unique sounds the cereal made when mixed with milk. More than 75 years (and a few makeovers) later, this trio of cartoon elves remains the longest-running Kellogg’s marketing campaign. But for a short period of time, Snap, Crackle, and Pop weren’t the only elves in town. (Here are some more fun facts you didn’t know about your favorite food characters.)

For two television commercials in the 1950s, Snap, Crackle, and Pop were joined by a fourth elfin character named Pow. The storyboards for the commercials reveal that, while Snap, Crackle, and Pop are brothers, Pow was simply a friend of the family. What’s more, Pow’s name didn’t represent a sound coming from the cereal bowl like the other names do. Instead, “Pow” was short for “power,” representing the nutritional “punch” of the whole grain rice in Rice Krispies. And instead of an elf outfit, Pow wore a space suit, flying around on some kind of hovercraft to deliver spoonfuls of Rice Krispies to hungry breakfasters.

Pow the astronaut-elf came during a surge of space-related advertising, as the space craze that would dominate the mid-twentieth century was just beginning. Despite that, though, Pow’s popularity never quite took off. Today, according to pop-culture author Tim Hollis, Pow is sadly little more than a “footnote” in the history of Kellogg’s. Sounds like the breakfast behemoth realized that their Golden Trio of cereal marketing was better off remaining as a trio. And we can’t say that “Snap, Crackle, Pop, and Pow” has quite the same ring to it.

You’ll never guess what Rice Krispies (and these 11 other brands) are called overseas.

[Sources: Smithsonian.com, The List]

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Meghan Jones
Meghan Jones is a Staff Writer for RD.com who has been writing since before she could write. She graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and has been writing for Reader's Digest since 2017. In spring 2017, her creative nonfiction piece "Anticipation" was published in Angles literary magazine. She is a proud Hufflepuff and member of Team Cap.