Chewits is the brand name of a British chewy, cuboid-shaped, soft taffy sweet manufactured by Cloetta since 1965. Chewits have been available in a variety of increasingly exotic flavours since their inception.
Chewits were first advertised on television in 1976. The original ads featured the ‘Monster Muncher’, a Godzilla-resembling mascot on the hunt for something chewy to eat. The first ad featuring the Muncher threatening New York was made by French Gold Abbott and created by John Clive and Ian Whapshot.
From then on the ‘Monster Muncher’ chomped and trampled local and well-known international landmarks such as Barrow-in-Furness Bus Depot, a London block of flats, London Bridge, the Taj Mahal, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Empire State Building. The ‘Monster Muncher’ could only be quelled by a pack of Chewits. The original adverts used claymation special effects, similar in style to those made famous in the movies of Ray Harryhausen. They also included a voiceover style reminiscent of a 1950s radio serial.
A subsequent advertisement, originally aired in 1995, plays on the over-the-top advertising style of the post-war era. To the tune of bright 1950s era orchestration, a salesy narrator exhorts viewers to try a variety of chewy consumer items in the essential guide to a chewier chew. The ad shows the ‘Monster Muncher’ sampling items such as Wellington boots, a rubber boat and a rubber plant in order to be ready for the chewiest of chews – Chewits.
In the late 1990s, Chewits experimented with ads showing multiple news casting dinosaur puppets. The catchphrase advice at the close of each ‘broadcast’ was to “do it before you chew it”.
With a change of ad agencies, the puppets were replaced by colourful 2D animations. The ‘Monster Muncher’ was re-introduced as ‘Chewie’ in two popular adverts from this time. In the first, which aired in 2000, Chewie roller skates on two buses through a busy city scene. The second shows Chewie waterskiing at a popular seaside resort.
In 2003, a new ad was aired showing a wide range of animals auditioning to be the new face of Chewits. The ad announced the return of the iconic dinosaur Chewie mascot, now dubbed ‘Chewie the Chewitsaurus’.
In 2009, the new Chewie the Chewitsaurus look, showing a contemporary, computer-game-style slick design, was introduced. It seems fair to observe that the Monster Muncher’s metamorphosis from the 1970s to the 21st century has not been a positive one.
A spin-off computer game, The Muncher, was released for the ZX Spectrum in 1988.