General Mills Prepares Cereal Push

CHICAGO General Mills this week will launch a television campaign aimed at children, in hopes of getting them to eat more cereal for breakfast. The campaign, from Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi in New York, is the company’s first non-branded effort for its cereals.

“We’ll reach more kids with Choose Breakfast than any other child effort we’ve done before,” said General Mills chief marketing officer Mark Addicks, in a statement. “We have taken our insights on how to communicate health to kids and have developed advertising that will impact children in a very positive way.”

One TV ad shows a man running from a kid in a tunnel. As he falls down, the man screams, “Don’t you ever stop?” The kid says, “Nope. I ate breakfast.” Another spot shows a kid getting ready for a prizefight, while a third uses a dectective scenario. “Choose breakfast” is the tagline.

The 10-second spots will be paired with 20-second versions of other General Mills kids-targeted cereal advertising, including some of the Minneapolis company’s sugar-sweetened cereals. The effort, however, will not tout specific brands, according to a company representative.

Other campaign components include health and fitness information on cereal boxes, as well as a Web site,

A General Mills representative said the effort would reach more than 80 percent of the country’s children.

Spending for the effort was not disclosed. General Mills spent more than $680 million on advertising last year; nearly half of that—$324 million—was for its cereal brands, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. For the first quarter of 2005, the company spent nearly $160 million overall, $84 million of which was for its cereal brands, according to Nielsen.