General Mills Targets Dads For Chex Mix Brand

ChexMix ads on fantasy football Yahoo siteGeneral Mills is resurrecting former professional football players in a bid to remind fathers that the Chex Mix in the pantry makes a great football-watching snack.

In its first online effort to reach dads, the brand is posting ads on fantasy football sites on Yahoo that are designed to tap into the nostalgia nerve.

LeRoy Butler, Desmond Howard, Billy "White Shoes" Johnson, Barry Sanders, "He Hate Me" (Rod Smart) and Ickey Woods perform touchdown celebrations in videos every week through Nov. 24. "These guys were big in, say, 1989, 1990," says Steve Finnie, Chex Mix marketing manager. "They were early leaders in touchdown celebrations. These aren't the guys you see on TV every Sunday."

The six players go head to head for 10 weeks performing end-zone celebrations, followed by a two-week playoff, Nov. 11 to 24. For example, one week players will dance Johnson's Funky Chicken; another week they will attempt Butler's famous leap, and yet another they will imitate the "Ickey Shuffle."



Football fans opposed to end-zone celebrations will want to see if Sanders strays from his trademark move of simply tossing the ball to the official. Fans can go to to watch video and cast their votes to determine which player is the ultimate end-zone celebrator.

At the conclusion of the end-zone celebration playoffs, Chex Mix will donate $10,000 to the winning player's favorite charity.

Finnie says that in households with kids, Chex Mix is an all-family snack, although it was mainly the mom and the kids who were partaking. "We saw a big opportunity to get Dad involved with Chex Mix," he says. "Dads love to eat healthy snacks, and what better way to get them in the game than to reach them when they're doing fantasy football, snacking online, while watching football." also features a smack talk section. Consumers can send pre-recorded messages from the players to their fantasy football opponent's phone or email a link to a smack talk video message. Another feature of the site is interviews with each player. Consumers also can enter the weekly online sweepstakes drawing to win a large-screen HDTV and a season supply of Chex Mix to enjoy while watching football.

General Mills on Wednesday reported that sales in the first quarter of fiscal year '09 rose 14%, to $3.5 million. Drivers included Small Planet Foods, up 56%, and baking products, up 25%.

Consumer marketing support rose 17% in Q1 09 over '08. It had been up 11% in Q1 '08 over the same period in 2007.

Fiscal guidance was raised, to $3.81-$3.85 per share.

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