It used to be fairly common for companies to create paper dolls to use in marketing or advertising their products. Often these paper dolls featured mascots or modeled clothing from the company, but sometimes they were on a theme and simply used as a device to entice young customers to buy the product in order to collect the paper dolls (the same way McDonald’s encourages kids to buy multiple Happy Meals in a given time span to collect all the prizes from a particular toy line). For whatever reason, using paper dolls for advertising went out of fashion after a while and no one really does it any more. Still, many of these dolls are quite interesting.
This one is from Kellogg’s Krumbles (a breakfast cereal) and is of the collectible variety.
The text reads:
Around-the-World Cut-Out Dolls
Get the complete series
Portugal is the land of wine and olives. Its children have appealing beauty. Their costumes flash with many attractive colors.
Why Portugal’s children have any more “appealing beauty” than children from other countries, I have no idea. I love the costumes, though. They are colorful and have a surprising amount of detail for paper dolls that were printed on the back of a cereal box!
Companies still use the “collect them all” strategy with marketing gimmicks (cereal still comes with prizes inside, products will come with a website code that reveals a “collectible” item or game, etc.). There is something simple and appealing about these paper dolls, though, that is hard to find in many modern day collectible marketing items. They were right on the box so you could choose the one you wanted before you bought the cereal and they were a complete toy that added little to the cost of production – once the paper doll was designed, it just needed to get printed onto a box that would have needed something printed onto it anyway!
I doubt you could convince a marketing company to try this technique today, but it is fun to look back at. Marketing paper dolls were extremely creative in their hay-day and I may post more at some point.