General Mills gets nostalgic

No, you’re not tripping. A few of General Mills‘ major brands have taken a retro approach to marketing, bringing back the Jolly Green Giant and the Cheerios Kid.

General Mills resurrected the classic characters in two new ad campaigns that debuted Monday, making a nostalgic appeal to convince consumers of the health benefits of the iconic cereal and vegetable brands.

The Giant, who debuted in 1928, will return to take a prominent role in a TV ad for the first time in some eight years via a campaign that marks the beginning of a revival for the big fella. In recent years, the giant had been relegated to low-profile appearances, appearing only as a shadow in some spots. Stuck in a standing position for decades, he will transition from a protector of the land to a kind-friendly “wingman” for parents to help make healthy eating fun, said Yumi Clevenger-Lee, marketing manager for the Giant brand. On Facebook and at an augmented-reality event in New York City in October, he will ask kids to take “One Giant Pledge” to eat one more vegetable a day. “We’re bringing the jolly back to the Green Giant and helping him get his mojo back,” she said.

While less known, the animated Cheerios Kid was famous in his day, appearing in TV ads in the 1950s and 1960s, encouraging kids to “connect the ‘Big G to the Little O’ to get the ‘Go’ power of Cheerios.” In the new campaign he will speak to nostalgic Baby Boomers in an online video in which he gives a scientific explanation to longtime sidekick Sue about how eating Cheerios can “help naturally remove some cholesterol from the body.” The spot (below) will initially run on YouTube, Facebook and WebMD.

“He was a very powerful character in his day,” said Meredith Tutterow, associate marketing director for Cheerios. “So we thought wouldn’t it be fun to get the Cheerios Kid to help educate these friends of his from 30 years ago, now all grown up, and help teach them about how Cheerios can help lower cholesterol.”

General Mills made the Giant TV ad in-house, while Story Worldwide is handling digital and PR is by Olson. The Cheerios video was handled by Pat-Man Studios. The creative agency for both brands is Saatchi & Saatchi.

Both campaigns are an example of how iconic brands — from Starkists’ Charlie the Tuna to Alka-Seltzer’s baby-faced Speedy — are bringing back old characters in new ways, often using digital media create rich storylines not possible in the past.

There’s more! To read the full article in Advertising Age, click here.

Brands Articles

DentsuBos to defend Fido account

Toronto agency could go from working on parts of the account to all of it

Rona takes two tablets, embarks on holiday campaign

Retailer partners with Toronto Star Touch and La Presse+ on interactive catalogue

L’Oréal opens Montreal content studio

In-house facility capable of quickly producing content for social media channels

Maple Leaf Foods cutting jobs in move to streamline

Food processing company nears the end of a massive restructuring plan

Sun Life partners with AOL on web series

Two Minutes to Transform features advice from high-profile Canadians

Why Nutella is having a moment

Chocolate-hazelnut spread is in the midst of a marketing frenzy

Reality Check: The new era of packaging (Column)

Brands are taking more risks with their packaging and it's paying off

Sears pushes ‘all under one roof’ message in new campaign

Retailer appeals to time-strapped shoppers with family scenes and a dash of nostalgia

Consumers are hungry for restaurant technology (Survey)

Wait times and mobile payments are among the digital capabilities diners want