The enduring appeal of Trix cereal, debuted in 1955 by General Mills, can largely be credited to Joe Harris, a commercial illustrator who invented the Trix rabbit. He has died at the age of 89.
Harris not only illustrated the rabbit, he also came up with the ad copy, “Silly rabbit! Trix are for kids.” The cartoon rabbit started appearing in commercials in 1959, always trying to trick kids into feeding him cereal. While he’s famous for failing, doomed in a Sisyphus way, the rabbit has actually succeeded twice in eating Trix.
Along with Tony the Tiger, Toucan Sam, and Cap’n Crunch, Trix will go down in cereal history as one of the industry’s most successful mascots and advertising tools. In 1959, the creative director of the Trix account said, “Joe gets all the credit for this one.”