Probably The Worst Mascot In Advertising History

He was the evil “Mr. Coffee Nerves” — the anti-spokesman for coffee substitute Postum. And his 1950s ads were pure fucking insanity. Most of the images are via Star-Tribune writer James Lileks.

1. Scream, young man. SCREAM!

Postum was created in 1895 by C.W. Post as a healthy caffeine-free alternative to evil black coffee. Their marketing strategy, right from the get-go, was to try to paint coffee as basically the worst thing since the plague. (Here’s some of their early 20th century ad images).

In the mid-20th century, they introduced Mr. Coffee Nerves to America. The copy on these comic ads is so over-the-top, you’d swear it was satire. But it isn’t. As you’ll see, Postum tried to blame coffee for everything from runaway children to divorces to not getting laid.

Alas, Kraft stopped making and selling Postum in 2007.


Coffee substitute, my ass.

2. Mr. Coffee Nerves looks pretty damn buff.

No, that’s some other kid whose parents are also caffeine junkies. The streets are filled with them.



4. He looks a bit like Vincent Price.

Well, that excalated quickly.

Mr. Coffee Nerves gives up too easily. Spike their Postum!

5. The most touchdowns?!? What a shallow bitch.

Oh yeah, there’s gonna be some BedPost-um tonight.

6. Coffee was definitely to blame for that figure.

Your son’s a crook, mom — all cause you drink coffee.

7. I wonder where Postum got their numbers from?


Most of these strip images are via James Lileks, writer for the Star-Tribune.
Here’s his website, which is like a very interesting museum of 20th century American…things. Lots and lots of interesting things.

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