Cheech and Chong get fired up over fiber

Thursday, September 22, 2011

General Mills is creating quite a stir with its hiring of two unrepentant potheads to promote its latest box of Fiber One.

Still, enlisting two perpetual potheads as pitchmen doesn't exactly fit in with the company's sober and wholesome image.

"They're doing some things to try to be a little bit more creative and inventive," said John Purdy, a professor of advertising and public relations at the University of St. Thomas. "I think it does change their image a little bit. But maybe that's the disarming thing they want to use to get people's attention."

Purdy thinks General Mills' pothead pitchmen will help the company more than hurt it.

"Sometimes even just a little controversy helps the marketing program a little bit because it gets some buzz and attention," he said.

Purdy said the campaign is a smart nostalgia play.

"A lot of people of the age group that they're trying to reach with fiber have fond memories of that era and they kind of like to be reminded of it," he said.

"Cheech and Chong are part of that generation and seeing them again probably revives some memories of fun times. I think it's probably a good choice."

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Originally published: 09/22/2011, Minnesota Public Radio