Throwback Thursday: The Jackson 5 for Alpha-Bits

Jackson 5 Alpha-Bits

Throwback Thursday is a weekly series in which we look back on pop culture oddities worth revisiting.

learning that the Jackson 5 did commercials for Post’s Alpha-Bits cereal is one of those things that just makes sense. After all, the Jackson 5 was a band with a kid for a lead singer and a hit song themed around the alphabet; and Alpha-Bits is a kids’ cereal themed after the alphabet. It’s a match made in synergy heaven.

So, in 1972, the Jackson 5 and Alpha-Bits teamed up for a series of ads. The cereal had already done a series of psychedelic ads starring a group of mod children in a flying boat, so hiring a popular band was the logical next step. The ads are full of psychedelic imagery, like the flying boat, and goofy jokes like the Jackson 5 sleeping in a five level bunk bed.

However, the most interesting part of this collaboration was a prize included inside boxes of Alpha-Bits and other Post cereals, a Jackson 5 flexi disc. Flexi discs were cheaply made, poor quality records. They’re basically a piece of cardboard with vinyl printed on top. Easily damaged and highly disposable, flexi discs were typically used as promotional material in cereals and fast food promos.

What’s crazy about the Jackson 5 flexi is that it’s an official Motown release featuring five of the band’s hits! Young listeners were able to get “ABC,” “I’ll Be There,” “Never Can Say Goodbye,” “Darling Dear” and “Maybe Tomorrow” for the low price of one box of cereal. Sure, the sound quality wasn’t great, but this was still quite the boon for future music junkies.