I was telling a friend over dinner this evening about Joe Harris, who came up with the immortal line “Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!” — as well as the artwork and entire idea for the spot.
In an interview years later, Harris lamented how General Mills had misunderstood his beloved character. The entire spot is built on the rabbit not getting the breakfast cereal. The way he tells it, one year GM decided to let the rabbit get some Trix. The result? Sales of Trix went down — because now there was no drama.
I wonder how many other examples there are like this in popular culture: Producers give the audience what they think it wants, and the audience rebels. Because sometimes, not getting what it wants is exactly what an audience really wants.