Chock Full of Charlie
Everyone remembers Charlie Girl, Charlie Tuna and even Charlie Choo-Choo. But how about Charlie Chocks? Charlie Chocks was the spokescharacter for the Chocks line of children’s vitamins, the first chewable vitamin for children. Charlie looked like a cross between a fighter pilot and a trapeze artist. He wore a flight helmet and, somewhat incongruously, white spandex tights. Chocks was test-marketed in 1959 and introduced in 1960 by Miles Laboratories. Miles is better known for its antacid product that made a somewhat more enduring mark on brand history, Alka Seltzer. Chocks’ positioning changed significantly as the 1960s progressed. This Chocks commercial evidently pre-dated his introduction: Once Charlie appeared, he was marketed heavily on Saturday morning childrens shows, a practice which made Miles a lightning rod for criticism from advocacy groups like Peggy Cherren’s ACT. By the early 1970s the company had stopped all Saturday morning advertising. A few artifacts survive including this one from a 1970 Dudley Do-Right Show. By the early 1970s Charlie Chocks had gone the way of the Apollo space program. His demise was probably inevitable once Miles introduced Flintstone Chewable Vitamins in 1968, and Bugs Bunny Multiple vitamins in 1971. The latter brands obviously had a lot more cachet with moms and kids but lacked the testosterone-inducing image of its predecessor. It’d be interesting to learn what compelled Miles, in the midst of the astronaut mania that swept the country in the late 60s, to continue positioning Charlie as a hot-shot fighter jock a la Chuck Yeager rather than an astronaut. Even by late 1960s standards Charlie’s flight helmet looked a little dated. Miles Laboratories was purchased by Bayer AG in 1977 and the Miles Laboratories brand itself disappeared altogether on April 1, 1995. An in-depth history of Miles Labs can be found here: MILES-LABORATORIES-Company-HistoryFood
Tags: 1960s, Add new tag, advertising, americana, astronauts, Brands, charlie chocks, food marketing, marketing to kids, Miles Labs, Peggy Cherren, pop culture, pop icons, retro, saturday morning childrens television, saturday morning TV, space age, vitaminsYou can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.