Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Rise and Fall (and Return) of the Blue Smartie

[As an editorial note: Different candies go by different names. To the US readers: I'm not talking about what you call Smarties -- those sugary pill-shaped candies in a plastic roll. In Canada, those are called Rockets. To the UK readers: Our Smarties are pretty much the same as yours -- originally made by Rowntree, now Nestle, but to the best of my knowledge, our light brown Smarties were never coffee-flavoured, nor were the orange ones orangey.]

Something has been troubling me for a while. If you grew up eating Smarties in Canada, you probably remember the 'Do you eat the red ones last?' ad campaign. If you do, can you remember when blue smarties were first introduced? The ads showed kids using some kind of contraption to trap bits of the sky and turn them into blue smarties. They were advertised 'for a limited time only' since presumably there was only so much sky to go around.

But then disaster struck! Instead of running out of sky, Rowntree had to stop selling blue smarties because someone had stolen them all! And for a while there was a whole mystery promotion where you were supposed to examine clues (or whatever) and send in your guess as to which of the other colours of smarties was the criminal. I never did find out who it was from the official sources. However, someone once told me that it was the red one, who was used to getting all the attention, and was jealous. Once the crime was solved, the blue smarties were returned to the package, and the light brown ones were removed (presumably because they took the fall for the kidnapping and ransom attempt).

The thing that keeps bugging me is this: how can they keep making blue smarties? Did they manage to clear up that 'only enough sky for a limited time' problem? And was that why we had that problem with the hole in the ozone layer in the 90s? We like to blame the oil companies and the nuclear power plants for wrecking the planet, but I think we know the truth. It was the candy companies all along! Who knows what other fiendish schemes they pulled off?

1 comment:

  1. OMG that is too funny. I was just talking about the blue smartie campaign of the 90's. How am i the first to comment after 7 years?