The coronavirus pandemic has forced people to stay socially distant, but there are no barriers when it comes to nostalgia.
General Mills is bringing back a classic 1999 Christmas commercial with a new twist — and it still resonates.
The cereal giant recast its commercial with the same characters 21 years later.
In 1999, Cheerios aired a commercial featuring actress Peggy Miley, “Today” reported. Miley played a grandmother who is telling her baby granddaughter about her long journey to visit for Christmas, using pieces of the breakfast cereal to explain distances on the toddler’s highchair tray.
The toddler, played by Delfina Booth, was only interested in the cereal, but Grandma was not to be denied, patiently explaining her long trip and where relatives lived.
It was a warm bit of advertising, and it came back to life after Cori Spruiell posted an emotional TikTok video and pitched the idea. Spruiell was visibly fighting back tears as she asked General Mills to bring back an updated version of the commercial.
General Mills listened. Miley, 79, returns as the grandmother, while Booth is back as a woman in her early 20s. True to the pandemic era, the pair connect by Zoom, rather than in person, “Today” reported.
“I had no idea that my TikTok would capture the emotions of my followers and I’m still blown away that Cheerios would move so quickly and creatively to bring the new video to life,” Spruiell told Taste of General Mills, a blog for the company. “I can’t wait for people to see this modern-day take on the classic Cheerios commercial — grab your tissues!”
“Our team was really excited when we saw her post because we felt like it was such a true insight on what is going on today,” Taylor Roseberry, assistant brand experience manager for Cheerios, told the blog. “In re-watching that 1999 commercial, it brought back so much joy. We felt really inspired by it. So, we quickly pulled a group together to figure out how we could respond to Cori’s video.”
Miley told the blog that the commercial was “delightful on all levels.”
“The 1999 edition was my favorite of all the commercials I’ve done, and it is still timely today,” Miley said, “After the original, I was often asked if I was the ‘Cheerios Grandma’ and it was very nice to have done something that reflects on the nicest aspect of family life. I am blessed to still be working and enjoying it so much.”
Booth was equally happy to participate.
“It was a fun surprise,” Booth told Taste of General Mills. “I did not expect to hear from Cheerios again — especially since the original spot was filmed so long ago.”
Mills and Booth filmed their parts separately, adhering to COVID-19 restrictions.
“No matter where Grandma lives, we’ll always be together for Christmas,” Miley’s character tells her granddaughter, just like she did in 1999.
“I was too young to remember my experience filming the Cheerios holiday commercial, but I get the same warm feeling both rewatching the original commercial and participating in its recreation,” Booth said in a statement. “I can’t wait for fans’ reactions to the spot because while I’ve grown up, the importance of connecting with one’s loved ones has only gotten stronger.”