Brand of the Day: What Is Madeleine Albright Doing on the Wheaties Box?

A different kind of champion

Headshot of Kristina Monllos

In case you missed it, Wheaties made a commemorative box with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on it. For the General Mills cereal, known as the "breakfast of champions," a one-shot box with Albright is part of an effort to redefine what kind of champions the brand will be touting. 

"A champion is no longer solely the megastar athlete; it is also any person who looks inside and challenges their personal best," the brand says on its website. "And that's the ethos of the current incarnation of Wheaties: celebrating the awe-inspiring superstars."

While Wheaties has had a long history of success with sports stars—the brand first struck gold with Lou Gehrig in the 1930s—it's exciting to see it shake things up. Albright may be a very different kind of star, but maybe she's the kind that could get Americans excited about cereal again.

Social Media Profile (as of 10/22/14) 

Facebook Likes: 196,957

Twitter Followers: 8,551

Instagram Followers: 739

The brand has been using its social channels to revamp the Wheaties image to fit in with millennials, using hashtags like #tbt and #grandpaswag to generate more interest. Nothing has been as successful as Albright's tweet, though.

Recent Advertising

While a little bizarre, the spot above certainly grabs your attention. Is the Wheaties flake supposed to be buff? Why are the legs so skinny then? 

Fast Facts

  • The cereal was created by accident by a health clinician at Washburn Crosby Company (predecessor to General Mills) in 1921. He liked the taste of his cooked wheat gruel and let the company know. 
  • Wheaties helped kickstart Ronald Reagan's career. He'd been an Iowa sportscaster, and through a nationwide Wheaties poll, he was voted as the favorite announcer. He'd won a free trip from Wheaties to California and while out there took a Warner Brothers' screen test. 
  • Michael Jordan has appeared on the Wheaties box a record 18 times.

@KristinaMonllos Kristina Monllos is a senior editor for Adweek.
Publish date: October 22, 2014 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT