It's true: A tiger can change its stripes.
Since he began representing Frosted Flakes in 1951, Tony the Tiger has been animated. Now, he's animatronic. With a little help (well, a lot -- see video above) from Jim Henson's Creature Shop, the veteran spokestiger made an appearance in New York today with "America's Funniest Home Videos" host Alfonso Ribeiro to promote a new survey on tweens. It's part of a marketing and social media push to make the brand more relevant with that demographic and revive the nostalgia of dads.
After the requisite jokes about Tony having "some tricks up his paw," the Kellogg mascot came out and did a little dance turn with Mr. Ribeiro, who won the 2014 season of "Dancing With the Stars" and is still best known for his roles as Alfonso Spears on "Silver Spoons" in the 1980s and Carlton Banks on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" in the 1990s.
Afterward, Tony held a press conference in which he took questions from the audience, which included Carly Gendell, an 11-year-old cast member of Broadway's "School of Rock," a pint-size influencer who Persicoped the proceedings to her friends and shared it with her 3,144 Instagram followers. Word is, she frequents the Kellogg Cafe around the corner in the theater district.
When asked what he was like as a tween, the tiger responded: "Age is a funny thing. Some of us get older. Some of us get better. I've always been the same."
Which we assume is "Gr-r-eat."
Kellogg worked with Edelman's Krispr unit on the project. Tony's updated slogan, "Let your Gr-r-reat out," was also used this summer in a Leo Burnett spot for the brand. And his updated animated look will make it to cereal boxes in October.
And speaking of Mr. Ribeiro's dancing career, we leave you with this clip of him when he was himself a tween.