Ironman champion Chris McCormack makes it to Wheaties box

By Todd Wasserman on Mon Oct 11 2010


When it comes to endorsement deals, endurance athletes don't really get their due. If you can hit a baseball well, you'll make millions. If you can win a 140.6-mile race that includes swimming, running and biking, you consider yourself lucky to take home the $20,000 in prize money. But now General Mills is recognizing Chris McCormack, who won the grueling Ford Iron Man Triathalon in Honolulu by putting him on the iconic Wheaties box. Since Wheaties' Fuel is a tie-in partner for the event, the deal makes sense, especially in an age when baseball heroes are often found to be steroid users. Speaking of ballplayers (not steroids), the first athlete to grace a Wheaties box was Lou Gherig, whose picture ran on the back in 1934.

Oh, Betty Crocker Warm Delights, why must you tease me so?

By Elaine Wong on Thu Sep 30 2010

We can all relate to those moments of impatience when we're waiting for our favorite baked treat to warm up. That's the thinking in some new ads for General Mills's Betty Crocker Warm Delights brand, showing three women making faces on the other side of a microwave window. ("Just add water and microwave," the product's instructions say.) The ads (each woman has her own spot, in addition to the combo spot shown here), by McCann Erickson in New York, mark the brand's first return to TV advertising in more than a year. They're part of the Betty Crocker baked goods brand's strategy to tap into the recession-driven comfort and indulgent foods trend. It's also accompanied by a Facebook sampling push, as well as an interactive game that encourages "me time!" Now, that's exactly what BrandFreak needs. Wait, there's another story to cover?

General Mills again resurrects vintage packaging for five cereals

Posted on Fri Feb 12 2010


This Valentine's Day, get thee to Target, which beginning on Sunday will be exclusively selling a line of five limited-edition General Mills cereals with retro packaging from the '60s and '80s. The cereals are Lucky Charms, Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Trix. This is the third year of the promotion. The goal is to tap into consumers' desire for nostalgia, which is big nowadays, and particularly so in a tough economy. Check out the packaging for the other four cereals after the jump, with the old boxes on the left and the new ones on the right. You'll notice some interesting differences. On the Lucky Charms box (above), the leprechaun wears a scarf, has rosy cheeks and sits atop a toadstool. (The new box is fungus free.) On the Honey Nut Cheerios box, the bee pours a pot of honey, not a honey wand, over the cereal. (Gotta cut back on the sugar.) And the old Cinnamon Toast Crunch packaging has notebook-paper lines rather than the current swirls. All five retro cereals also contains offers for vintage games and prizes we grew up with in our childhood. How's that for a trip down memory lane?

—Posted by Elaine Wong

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Beyonce wants to feed the hungry, preferably Hamburger Helper

Posted on Thu Jul 2 2009

Kudos to General Mills' Hamburger Helper for attracting Beyonce as its campaign helper-outter. (Since when did the former Destiny's Child lead singer eat the stuff?) This spot shows the R&B singer promoting boxes of the good stuff as part of General Mills' "Show Your Helping Hand" campaign, which donates food to hunger-fighting charity Feeding America. Consumers can also donate shelf-stable goods at her performances. But we have yet to catch her actually taking a bite.

—Posted by Elaine Wong

Wheaties' Willis Reed box recalls era when Knicks weren't a joke

Posted on Wed Feb 4 2009


"In a time of mood rings and Pet Rocks, 36 cents bought a gallon of gas and a postage stamp cost a dime. At Madison Square Garden, the crowd went wild as they heard, 'Here Comes Willis ...' " So reads the nostalgic press release issued today announcing the new limited-edition Wheaties box featuring Willis Reed, the former Knicks star. Reed, who is making his first appearance for the cereal brand, was chosen to commemorate Black History Month. He joins Satchell Paige, Arthur Ashe, Walter Payton and others who have also received the honor. Sadly, no one on the Knicks' roster today (you know, like the 700-pound Jerome James or the seemingly insane Stephon Marbury) will ever end up being honored by the Breakfast of Champions.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein



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