The World's Greatest Marketer Ruined My Childhood

The World’s Greatest Marketer Ruined My Childhood

Last night on a drunken stroll down memory lane with several other children of the 60’s and 70's, I went off on a rant about sea monkeys.

Bloody sea monkeys, even now they get me mad!

Now you may be wondering, “what the hell are sea monkeys?” They are incredibly cute humanoid animals that you can train and live in a gold fish bowl. (Well in the ads they were).

They were advertised on the back pages of comics. The advert was made in a cartoon style to fit in with the comic (clever!).

It depicted a smiling sea monkey family posing in front of an under water castle – there was father sea monkey, two children sea monkeys, and a reclining mother sea monkey, showing off her rather shapely sea monkey legs.

Sea monkeys looked like people. The ad said they could even be trained. They did tricks and stunts. Stunts? For a dollar twenty five, anyone could buy a humanoid family and train them to do tricks and stunts?


I had to buy them.

I mean what kid wouldn’t?

2 weeks later they arrived and I put them in the bowl and added water. I went to bed knowing that in the morning I would have my own family of pet sea monkeys that would give me hours of fun and entertainment.

I got up early and ran downstairs to start the training… “errrr Mum what are these tiny little things in the goldfish bowl? Where are the sea monkeys?”

It turned out sea monkeys were actually tiny brine shrimps. 🙁


I got more fun talking to the little silver fish that lived in the toilet bowl!

(have you noticed that you don’t see them anymore..wonder where they went?)

Last night in the bar, still hurting from my sea monkey adventure 45 years ago, I researched and discovered that I’d been conned by Harold von Braunhut, a true marketing genius.

Not only did Harold, “invent” sea monkeys he was responsible for Xray Specs, The Invisible Goldfish (guaranteed to stay invisible for life!) and a load of other useless/genius crap.

Over time, it is estimated that he bought 300 million pages of advertising.


So next time you buy a product and it’s not what you expected, think of my sea monkeys and consider how lucky you are!

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1 Comment

  1. Lloyd Hester on August 4, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Blimey I remember them well now you mention them. There were so many things I wanted to buy off those back pages. I Also seem to remember a one man submarine which I dreamt of owning. I am on the hunt for those back page adverts as soon as I finish typing this.

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