The cereal is nearly 50 years old and its animated shill Lucky the Leprechaun has pretty much been around since the beginning. And though a many people eventually grow out of the sweet cereal phase, General Mills tells AdAge that the percentage of adult Lucky Charms consumers has risen to 45%, so the company wants to continue this trend with ads targeting adults.
“As we’ve finally seen adults [become] this big a part of our consumption, it really felt like the right time to target them directly,” said Lucky Charms’ brand manager, who were going to assume wears all green and hoards pots of gold.
The ad below, featuring that one woman who seems to be in every other ad created in the last 18 months, shows an office worker stumbling upon someone else’s bowl of Lucky Charms. Disregarding all rules of proper behavior, she helps herself to a spoonful of the stuff and immediately begins hallucinating that she has been transported to a horrifying animated alternate reality, populated by a leprechaun who likes Lucky Charms a little too much.
But this an ad, and that hallucination is really just a metaphor for the adult having a Proustian flashback to her childhood. Or something.
The ad is currently being shown in Buffalo, Kansas City, Louisville, and Syracuse, but we’ll all get to go on the trippy adventure of the food-stealing office worker at some point in the next year. That is, unless you have a DVR. In that case, you’ll probably skip right over it.
General Mills, who is not an actual general but a huge company, denies that the move to get adults eating Lucky Charms has anything to do with pressure from regulators and public health advocates for food marketers to rethink how they advertise their products to children.
“Forty-five percent of our consumption today is adults and we haven’t been talking to them directly,” said the brand manager, presumably while fixing the four-leaf clover sticking out of his hat band. “We just saw it as a big opportunity to leverage this love that they have for this brand and connect with them directly and remind them of how great-tasting the cereal is.”