Over the last several years, General Mills’ Cheerios brand has carved out a nice reputation for itself with marketing that stresses, shall we say, more modern-day values.
The brand’s advertisements weren’t afraid to portray multi-cultural families, for example.
Now a new ad, debuting this week, is getting attention for taking the theme deeper with rapid-fire multi-culturalism.
“I never even thought I’d be doing a commercial — and who would think I’d be part of such a major campaign on my first attempt?” Latrelle Boyd, 27, said of his music. “I was thinking local and small first, but you never know until you try.”
He tells the Boston Globe that General Mills sent him the words and a description of the sound they wanted, leaving the rest up to him.
Inspired by artists like Chance the Rapper and André 3000, of OutKast fame, Boyd went to work. He sat down with a friend, and the pair laid down a track before eventually adding Cheerios’ lyrics, but with a personal twist.
In the end, Boyd’s first attempt at creating the music for the advertisement was his last: the company ate up what he had to offer.
“I laid it down the first way that I figured would work with the lyrics, and my gut instinct was the right instinct, which was pretty cool. The best thing to do is follow your gut, I guess.”
Boyd, who is working on a solo album, said that when he saw the video montage that his song would be set to, he felt even more confident about being a part of the commercial.
“In times where I feel like the country feels like it’s being divided, to show people of all colors and races and backgrounds together ….In this one commercial, and put it in a way that’s positive, just feels right,” he said. “Who wouldn’t want to be part of something that is pushing positivity and unity?”
After its first ad in 2013 featuring an interracial family, General Mills shut down comments on its YouTube ad because of a racist backlash spearheaded by white supremacist groups.