It's been a hard year, to say the least, and the holiday season is going to present unique challenges for many families. As loved ones struggle to find a way to stay connected even when they can’t physically be together, Cheerios is offering a sweet visit down memory lane.
Back in 1999, Cheerios had a memorable commercial featuring actor Peggy Miley that focused on the importance of bringing the family together over the holidays. The commercial showed, even going back those two decades, how distance doesn’t have to stop a family from connecting. That commercial, now a legendary piece of television history, is being revisited now — thanks to a viral TikTok.
In the classic Cheerios commercial, a grandmother is seen chatting with a baby in a highchair. As the grandma explains the long journey she took to visit the baby, the baby is rather uninterested — she's more interested in the Cheerios she's snacking on. Grandma then uses the snack to (roughly) illustrate a map of the route she had traveled to visit her granddaughter, and explain where her various extended family lives along the "map." The baby looks pretty exasperated — she just wants her cereal!
But the message behind this sweet little scene is that, no matter what life throws their way, they'll still find a way to be together for Christmas — a rather important reminder in our current situation.
Nostalgia brought this commercial to the present day after influencer Cori Spruiell posted a TikTok where she pitched the idea, while holding back tears, to bring an updated version of the commercial back, at a time when it would feel particularly poignant. In Spruiell's vision for the commercial, it would be 20 years later, and that baby would be all grown up, and even though she couldn't physically be with her family for the holidays due to the pandemic, they would connect over Zoom.
Cheerios took her idea and ran with it, recreating the original commercial with the same cast. Miley is returning as the grandma, and the original baby is back — as an adult.
"I was too young to remember my experience filming the Cheerios holiday commercial, but I get the same warm feeling both re-watching the original commercial and participating in its recreation," Delfina Booth, who played the baby in the original commercial, 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."
“I never expected that my TikTok would strike such an emotional chord with my followers, and I’m absolutely blown away by how quickly and creatively Cheerios worked to bring the new video to life,” said Cori Spruiell in a statement. “I can’t wait for people to see this modern-day take on this beloved, classic Cheerios commercial – I highly recommend having tissues handy!”
On Friday, a 2020 remake of the original Cheerios commercial will debut on TikTok and YouTube, reflecting how older and younger generations are getting together — virtually — this holiday season. The ad opens with a Christmas tree display, focusing on an ornament depicting a still from the original commercial, and then transitions to the now-adult "baby" meeting up with her grandma via FaceTime on Christmas.
"No matter where Grandma lives, we'll always be together for Christmas," Miley's character tells her granddaughter, just like she did in the original commercial. The ad closes with a message about keeping traditions alive, and the grandmother showing her granddaughter, using Cheerios, where the rest of the family is in the country.
“Family togetherness is at the heart of this 20-year-old, iconic Cheerios commercial and that’s something that isn’t going to be physically possible for many this holiday season,” said Kathy Dixon, Senior Brand Experience Manager for Cheerios, in a statement. “Many of our fans remember the grandma character and the baby from the original spot so, what better time than now to refresh the commercial, empathize with our audiences and capture today’s reality.”
Cheerios is not alone in its attempt to reimagine a classic ad, but hopefully it'll have better luck than Hershey's. Recently, the chocolate company revamped its classic Christmas bells commercial and fans complained they didn’t want more changes in a holiday season that was already fraught with changes.