Wheaties, Redefining ‘Champion,’ Puts Madeleine Albright on the Box

There's some interesting branding going on here.


Well that’s a curve ball, isn’t it? Usually, when you’re sitting down to a bowl of Wheaties, the face staring out from the box belongs to a sports figure.

The cereal decided to go in a different direction this time around by putting Madeleine Albright, the former Secretary of State, on a commemorative box. And the former Madame Secretary celebrated with the tweet above. According to Wheaties, they’re now defining what it means to be a champion by a different set of standards.

“With the rise of the Internet and millennial culture, the very definition of the word ‘champion’ is changing. A champion is no longer solely the megastar athlete; it is also the person who looks inside and challenges their personal best,” says the cereal’s website. 

“The definition of champion is evolving and Wheaties is committed to evolving with it,” the page continues.

There’s actually some interesting stuff happening here. The company’s brand is strong enough and broad enough to shift with the changing times. Seeing that the prestige of the Wheaties box might need a little updating, they’ve switched things up while staying true to what it means to select someone to be on their box.

I respect the selection — you can’t get more dignified than choosing Madeline Albright for this honor — but I’m wondering if this was the best person to choose for reaching their target market. A political figure like Albright is going to attract the attention of an older demographic, people who are into politics and remember the time when she was Secretary of State and maybe those who will celebrate seeing another woman on the Wheaties box. Recent demographic analysis shows that the growing number of Baby Boomers could bode well for stagnant cereal sales. In that case, Albright is perfect.

A growing Hispanic population is also helping with cereal’s revival. In that case, perhaps Eva Longoria is a good selection. She’s proving herself to be an even bigger powerhouse behind the camera than she was in front of it on Desperate Housewives. But more importantly, she’s making her mark in politics, particularly driving the Latino vote.

But traditionally, it’s children who drive cereal sales. Perhaps Malala Yousafzai, our recent and youngest Nobel Prize winner would be a good choice then?

We would need a better understanding of how the brand is transitioning to really make a determination. But Madeleine Albright is definitely a cool look.

h/t CBS News