To promote the return of General Mills’ beloved French Toast Crunch cereal — which returned this January after being discontinued in 2006 — McCann teamed up with Picture Mill, Beacon Street and director Matt Piedmont for a campaign entitled “The Tiny & The Tasty.”
A series of ads parodies daytime soap operas, which were at their peak during French Toast Crunch’s heyday in the mid to late 90s (the brand launched in 1995) with a “mini mini-soap opera.” The 30-second spots cast a family of dolls and take on such soap opera cliches as “Amnesia,” “Murder,” “Inheritance” and pregnancy. In “Amnesia,” a couple’s son suffers from amnesia and forgets, among other things, to wear pants. That’s a pretty good barometer for the rest of the campaign as well, which deals in over-the-top silliness. The goofiness gets so ridiculous that it detracts from the intended nostalgia factor, though we imagine that all most fans of the brand need to run clamoring to the grocery store is a reminder that it’s back.
Bill Wright, global executive creative director at McCann, told Adweek the idea emerged from “the 1990s origin of French Toast Crunch. That was the decade when daytime dramas were at their height of popularity. So when you take soap operas and cross them with tiny dolls, you get a strangely awesome mashup.”