- For its relaunched cereal brand French Toast Crunch, General Mills, Inc. has launched a web series marketing campaign thanks to agency McCann Worldgroup, which worked with Beacon Street and Picture Mill on the project.
- The three 30-second videos are tongue-in-cheek and feature stone-faced dolls living out soap opera-worthy dramatic events, including a fight over a relative's will, a surprise pregnancy, and a murder.
- General Mills went all out in hiring Emmy-winning "Saturday Night Live" writer Matt Piedmont to be the series' director as well as a variety of soap opera actors for the dolls' voiceovers.
With this web series, General Mills is just the latest of a number of food and beverage companies who have turned to technology and/or the Web to attract and interact with consumers. As Food Dive recently reported, Jim Beam is using virtual reality headsets to transport consumers through a virtual distillery from the perspective of a shot of whiskey. As for online videos, earlier this year, Mondelez International launched a web sitcom marketing campaign for its Fig Newtons brand entitled "Now We're Newtons."
The cereal industry has been looking for ways to re-engage with consumers who have left cereal behind for other healthier breakfast alternatives, such as Greek yogurt. Doll figures, snippets of melodrama, and Internet videos could be what the industry is looking for in a marketing makeover, but it's unclear if any amount of promotions could break past consumer trends toward a different kind of breakfast.