I MUST admit, I’m more of a Weetabix man. Once in a while, I do have a bowl of Shredded Wheat, but, to be honest, I haven’t done so for a few years. Shredded Wheat and Weetabix: I see them as direct competitors – like the Ford Sierra versus the Vauxhall Cavalier; Oxo versus Bisto; Nescafe versus Kenco – direct competitors trying to be that bit better.
Being seen as that bit better, gaining the edge, comes down to the finest of margins – clever-clogs advertising, if not shabbily done, is one sure way to come out on top.
Shredded Wheat had their bet you can’t eat three campaign. It was very clever, the strapline became as common as the name David, and it was a massive success. Ian Beefy Botham, Jaws (the big lad with teeth that could chew through metal who featured in the James Bond films), Brian Clough, and Nigel Hawthorne all featured in the Shredded Wheat television advertising. Now, I am proud to say that I’m in the same league as the famous names mentioned – I have not yet appeared in a television commercial (are you listening ITV?), but I did have the same problem as them: I could not eat three Shredded Wheat.
This is the point where guilt starts to set in – the point where I start questioning myself as to whether I’m a bit of a fraud: there is no doubt, even to this day, that I can’t eat three Shredded Wheat, but, embarrassingly, I can’t even eat two – my personal best is ONE that took over five minutes to eat! The famous names previously mentioned managed to work their way through two, so does that mean I slip into to the league of mediocre? Would Beefy Botham grab me by the neck, threaten me with a cricket ball and tell me to man-up after hearing about my pathetic man versus food attempt? I’m not proud, and no need to write a report, I already know that I must try harder.
The question I have is this: is three a realistically achievable number? Has the bar been set so high that no matter how long your ladder extends, you’ll never reach it? The strange thing is that I have no issue chomping through an intimidating stacked burger, but when it comes to the innocent Shredded Wheat, I’m slapped into submission.
My bias conclusion is this: managing to eat one is cool; eating two is cool too but it’s getting to the point where you’re starting to show off; eating three is suspicious and checks for deception need to be urgently carried out. I’ll end by thanking Shredded Wheat for helping me learn the clockwise directional flow of the four main points on a compass – never eat …
The Milk Tray Man, mouthfuls of Angel Delight, smashing Smash Hits magazine, splashing it all over with Brut aftershave, World of Sport or Grandstand? A fat wallet or your flexible friend the Access Card? Could you survive a term at Grange Hill? Nostalgia with enough clout to send you flying back to the 80s and 70s in the hardback book Section N Underpass. Click image below to get the rundown: