Cheerios’ 1999 vacation ad featuring an adorable hungry baby and a loving grandma celebrating their first Christmas together is one of the most memorable and beloved places of its time.
The ad was made by Saatchi & Saatchi and played actress Peggy Miley – who also appeared on Star Trek and, more recently, Stranger Things – as a grandma who uses Cheerios to show her granddaughter where her family lives in the United States .
Every time she picks up a Cheerio, the cute baby opens her mouth expectantly just so that every piece of granola will go past her.
Now the iconic spot is being updated for the 2020 Holidays – with the woman who starred in the ad as a baby and is now a 21-year-old college student studying media at Georgia Tech in Atlanta.
The sequel shows 79-year-old Miley and the now-grown baby – real name Delfina Booth – dialing into a video call to wish each other a Merry Christmas, albeit practically this year thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the ad, the granddaughter finds a box of Cheerios on her porch with the inscription to call her grandma.
The spot will run on TikTok and YouTube over the holidays.
How TikTok inspired the ad
Brand owner General Mills decided to recreate the ad after discovering a viral TikTik. User Cori Spruiell asked the company to remake their beloved ad.
The TikTik was released on Wednesday November 11th. The next Monday, General Mills brainstormed with agency partners to see how this can be done. The following Monday she had selected Minneapolis agency Martin Williams Advertising to run the ad, and the team set out to track down Miley and Booth.
I don’t think we could find a more relevant time to talk about families missing each other and wanting to be together over the holidays.
—Kathy Dixon, Senior Brand Experience Manager at Cheerios
Miley was easy to find, but Booth was a little harder to find since she is no longer an actress, Kathy Dixon, senior brand experience manager at Cheerios, told Adweek.
“[Finding Miley] became the first piece of the puzzle, ”she said. “Then things started to piece together piece by piece – we secured grandma, secured the baby, and pulled everything together in a Covid-safe manner.”
“In my opinion [Booth] was so surprised and completely unprepared – she was so excited. Her mom was on set with her and I’m sure she was very nervous, but she was so lovely, so cute and she did a great job. “
The scenes with Grandma were shot at the director’s house in Los Angeles, while the scenes with Booth in Atlanta were shot with only two or three people on the set. The team also served in an advisory capacity with Spruiell and the original General Mills team that worked on the ad in 1999.
Dixon said she was “actually shocked” at the level of people’s “emotional attachment” to the ad, but was confident the ad would resonate with people who hadn’t seen the 1999 ad.
“I don’t think we could find a more relevant time to talk about families who miss each other and want to be together over the holidays and just can’t because it’s not safe. It’s more relevant than ever, ”she said.
“We tried to stick with the original construct as much as possible, and it’s very clear [in the ad] that this grandma and granddaughter have a tradition of being together for the holidays and doing their best to keep that tradition alive in 2020. “