Sep 20, 2012 • By

Reinventing the Cheerios Kid

Sometimes when I’m driving to work in the morning, I have to pinch myself. Every day, I help lead the team responsible for growing and supporting one of the world’s most iconic brands – the one and only Cheerios cereal – and I feel very lucky.

As a marketer at General Mills, this role is one of great heritage and responsibility, but when I look outside of our walls, the responsibility is even greater.

When I started on the business, I was surprised to learn that one in three adults suffers from cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in our country. This fact really struck me – I found myself suddenly thinking about all of the people in my own life that are affected and those that could be affected in the future.

The opportunity to change people’s lives by inspiring them to make heart healthy choices, such as Cheerios, is one that our team doesn’t take lightly.

When we learned last year that many people don’t know how oats, like those in Cheerios, actually work to help lower cholesterol, we were excited by the idea that education could be really inspiring.

With excitement in our veins and science on our minds, our team set off to find the perfect way to bring it to life.

The question was how?

Sitting at my desk a few days later, I realized the answer was staring right back at me. From a retro, 1960s-era picture, a character stood smiling clutching a bright yellow box of Cheerios and flexing his muscle revealing a Cheerios piece inside.

He was a lovable character who had been a childhood friend and hero to many adults today: the Cheerios Kid!

The Cheerios Kid and his friendly sidekick, Sue, were first introduced in 1953 but stayed around all the way through the 1960s, encouraging kids to “connect the Big G and Little O” for the GO power of Cheerios. (Here’s one of the many classic spots, on YouTube).

Our team quickly set out to bring these iconic characters back to life for a new mission: teaching those who grew up with them what Cheerios can do for them now. The fit was perfect.

On duty once again, the Cheerios Kid and Sue are making their big comeback during September, National Cholesterol Education Month.

In retro-reinvented style, the Cheerios Kid and Sue star in “Oh, It Really Works!” an “edu-taining” video about how soluble fiber, in oats like those in Cheerios, can help naturally remove some cholesterol from the body.

It’s a new meaning of GO power!

By bringing a friendly approach to the topic, our team hopes to inspire people to once again listen to their childhood friend and be motivated to make some changes … in adulthood.

So, grown-ups, now is the time, and the Kid is back in action to help.

Let’s GO!

You can find the Cheerios Kid and Sue on YouTube, at and on the Cheerios Facebook page.

Do you have some memories of the Cheerios Kid and Sue from your childhood?

Editor’s note: Studies show that three grams of soluble fiber daily from whole grain oat foods, like Cheerios cereal, in a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. Cheerios cereal provides one gram per serving.

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  • Tammyb

    I think this is a great idea! Cartoons are an effective way to get kids to notice a product but now many adults are going to remember seeing the Cheerios kid when they were children. And while there are so many different kinds of cereal on the shelves now days Cheerios used to be one in a limited few. So its an old time favorite that is still healthy and tasty. Many parents give their toddlers Cheerios as a snack promoting healthy eating habits at young age. Many people Cheerios as an adult cereal because of its lack of sugar, funny shapes, and plain box. But just because its healthy doesn’t mean its not good, if it wasn’t a high selling product it wouldn’t have lasted as many years as it has. So just the fact that its yummy is good but now that we know how oats can help lower cholesterol it make Cheerios seem like a super food. And if one bowl a day can help your heart health then adults should have no problem managing their cholesterol. Everyone loves the one, the only, Cheerios.

  • Tamara Williams Bryant

    The cereal company General Mills is bringing retro back! We all know Cheerios helps lower your cholesterol, is heart healthy, and tastes good too. But how many remember the iconic Cheerios Kid and his sidekick Sue? From 1935 through the 1960’s the Cheerios Kid entertained and educated my parents generation on the benefits of oats for strength and energy. Today many parents give their toddlers Cheerios to snack on starting the healthy trend of cereal not only being a great breakfast food, but also a suitable snack throughout the day. By reintroducing a classic cartoon character Cheerios is going to target not only children but also the parents who remember the commercials from their own childhood. September is National Cholesterol Education Month and what better time to show adults how to help manage their cholesterol with a cereal they have been eating since they were kids. While Cheerios is not the only oat cereal on the market today, in the 50’s it was one of a very limited selection. General Mills is a top producer of healthy cold cereals many that have derived from the original “Cheerioats”. So with the return of the courageous cartoon character who promoted the “GO” power of Cheerios, General Mills is letting adults know that making healthy decisions is something they have been doing since childhood. Great idea!