A Cereal Brand Took Real YouTube Fails and Made Ads Imagining What Led Up to Them

'It all started so well'

British cereal brand Alpen sends up sunny start-your-day-right clichés in two fun 30-second ads by BBH London—because a good breakfast cereal can't guarantee you'll have a good day … but at least you'll enjoy the meal. 

The first spot, "Cricket," features a man winding up for a big cricket game. Pitching an imaginary ball, he cranks up a chipper tune on the kitchen radio—the Monkees' "Daydream Believer"—and pours himself a bowl of sugarless Alpen.

He reads the paper while eating, then kisses his wife goodbye before heading out to the pitch … where his aspirations to glory are ignominiously dashed, as captured on YouTube. 

The fun thing about the campaign is that the YouTube fails are real.

"The development of the campaign began with finding genuine YouTube fails and then imagining the great start to the day that they had before these events unfolded," BBH says. "Careful casting and wardrobe were used to get actors looking as close to the real people in the YouTube clips as possible." 

The second spot, "Kite," features a mother smiling as she climbs out of a downy bed on a beautiful morning. The birds are singing, and "Daydream Believer" reprises in the background. She ties her hair, then joins her young daughter and husband at the table for a bowl of granola. 

After breakfast, the family heads out for a trip to the park. "Can mommy fly the kite?" she asks as they leave the house. That turns out to be a particularly apt question—the camera cuts to YouTube footage of her less-than-entirely-successful efforts.

"It all started so well," concludes the tagline for both spots. It's the perfect sort of non-apology, tantamount to a shrugging "At least we did our part." That's refreshing; the slapstick endings are welcome twists on dull and obnoxiously upbeat category tropes. 

It's the clips of cricket guy and kite mom that will be relived by cackling friends and families for years to come—even if nobody remembers what they had for breakfast that morning. 


Client: Alpen

Campaign: "It All Started So Well"

Global Marketing Director: Sally Abbott

Agency: BBH

Copywriter: Martha Riley

Creative Director: Carl Broadhurst

Strategy Director: Rowenna Prest

Business Lead: Sian Cook

Account Executive: Nathan Coffey

Account Director: James Rice

Producers: Ally Mee, Ronae Rayson

Production Company: Nice Shirt Films

Director: Liz Murphy

Producer: Luke Goodrum

Director of Photography: Justin Brown

Postproduction: Jon Hollis @ Raised by Wolves

Editor, Editing House: Mark Burnett @ Whitehouse Post

Sound: Sam Ashwell @ 750mph

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