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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Larryos, Raisin Brin, Porn Flakes & Other Google Cereals

Raisin Bran Meets Sergey Brin: Raisin Brin

I was at Google last month and did a double-take at the wall art up near one of the mini-kitchens. It featured familiar cereal brands morphed with Google personalities like Larry Page (Larryos) and Sergey Brin (Raisin Brin). I shot a few pictures, below, plus here’s some of the backstory.

Google’s fairly famous for its mini-kitchens that offer all types of food for Googlers to snack on. Cereal was long one of the key offerings. I can remember being back in the first original Googleplex seeing bins filled with cereal. I think Larry and Sergey in particular are cereal lovers, but don’t hold me to that.

Anyway, I remember those bins at some point gained these fake cereal brands labels on the top of them. Then the cereal seemed to go away, as did later many of the snacks during Candygate 2006. Yes, you can still find M&Ms, but you’re more likely to encounter fresh fruit. It’s not a cost cutting thing but a weight cutting one. Easy snacks lead to Googlers getting overweight.

That’s why seeing this wall art was especially fun — it was a blast to the past. Here’s the overview shot:

Google Meets Cereal Brands

Cindy Charms, in the top row, is for former marketing chief Cindy McCaffrey. Special Kraig is for Google employee #1 Craig Silverstein. And let’s zoom in on some even more familiar faces:

Larry Page Meets Cheerios: Larryos

Yes, Larry Page on a box of Larryos. I like the tagline: “Searching for delicious nutrition? Forget Google, eat… Larryos.”

Next up, Sergey Brin on box of Raisin Brin:

Raisin Bran Meets Sergey Brin: Raisin Brin

You can tell how old these mockups are from the next one, Google spam fighting czar Matt Cutts on a box of Porn Flakes:

Matt Cutts & Porn Flakes

Porn Flakes? Originally, Matt was the porn fighting guy. But there’s only so much porn anyone one can view until you have to move on to bigger and better things. Or so I hear 🙂

Postscript: Google’s former executive chef Charlie Ayers kindly sent me some further history on the labels:

Joe Sriver was the man that executed the fine craftsmanship of all these loved cereal parody labels. We would sit around and talk about how irreverent or disrespectful of a label we could come up with. The original PORN FLAKES had Matt Cutts sitting in a hot tubesque cereal bowl with Hotties on each side of him, looking very Hue Hefner like. Stacy Sullivan quickly shut that one down. We has some others that offended the Googlers they were targeted at, but for the most part everyone was able to take a good shot to the chin and smile about it later. Joe Sriver is also the engineer that helped me create my website, he handled all of the user interface for the Google site.


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