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.
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.