General Mills and Cheech-n-Chong Team Up To Sell Magic Brownies, Sort Of

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director September 24, 2011

    General Mills selling ‘magic brownies’? Flaming Pole Festival in the desert? The need for fiber? Cheech-n-Chong?

    Well…I guess the Baby Boomers are now squarely in control as they’ve successfully married ‘pot’ culture to a candy bar-like laxative through mass marketing.

    Well done!

    Watch the video and checkout the over-the-top marketing here.

    Cheech and Chong pitching “magic brownies” for General Mills

    By Tom Webb

    Updated: 09/22/2011 04:27:46 PM CDT


    Cheech and Chong are back, and they’re pitching “magic brownies” – for General Mills.

    The stars of 1980s stoner comedies are featured in a funny promotion for Fiber One brownies, a new high-fiber snack targeted at aging baby boomers.

    The online-only commercial resembles a movie trailer, and the twist comes at the end: the “magic” ingredient turns out to be fiber, not marijuana.

    “Fiber – because now that you’re getting older, you need a new kind of magic from your brownies,” the announcer says.

    Cheech’s response: “This is the weirdest movie ever, man.”

    The ad campaign began when the General Mills marketing team was brainstorming about the June launch of Fiber One brownies. When a New York ad agency, Modem, floated the magic brownie concept, “We loved the idea and that’s kind of where we started,” said Jim Wilson, a General Mills marketing manager.

    Comedians Richard “Cheech” Marin and Tommy Chong were approached and agreed to the project. The pair’s stoner comedies include “Up in Smoke” in 1978, “Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie” in 1980 and “Nice Dreams” in 1981.

    “We had to convince them, but we also had to convince General Mills,” Wilson said.

    The Golden Valley-based foodmaker is famous as the wholesome home of Betty Crocker, the Pillsbury Doughboy and sports heroes on the Wheaties box. It has strict policies that bar it from advertising on programs with sexual content, excessive violence – even on reality shows where contestants eat bugs.

    But the Fiber One magic brownie idea proved popular.

    “People really resonated with it when we pitched it internally,” Wilson said. “A lot of those people are boomers, and they thought this could be really fun.”

    For now, the campaign is appearing only in new-media channels.

    “It’s online video, and it has some support with digital banner ads, and we have a microsite, and we did push it out on our Facebook page,” said General Mills spokeswoman Lisa.Tomassen. “But we’re not doing a ton of outreach. We’re kind of throwing it out there, and seeing the power of viral.”

    If the early reaction is any guide, the campaign is generating a lot of buzz. So General Mills may reconsider and build a larger campaign around Cheech and Chong.

    “We’re still evaluating that,” Wilson said. “If it really takes off, then we would definitely be looking to see where we can take it next. Magic brownies 2.0.”

    Watch it at www.fiberone.com/magicbrownie/

    29 responses to “General Mills and Cheech-n-Chong Team Up To Sell Magic Brownies, Sort Of”

    1. Michael Gronemeyer says:

      Who better to do a commercial for Fiber One Magic Brownies than Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong! I think it’s awesome to see the “Dynamically Stoned” duo back together again! I loved their party albums, and their movies, as well as Tommy Chong’s “Far Out, Man!”

    2. TheOracle says:

      O k a y …, is this some sort of reception and lightning rod online test to see of a shortened variation of it can be used on network television?

      I hope so.

      Go General Mills!

      And yes, I do need the fiber.

    3. I’m a proud boomer, and been looking for a new munch. Can’t wait to buy. This and more like it is what we need to legitimize our legalize.

    4. Oh snap!! Cheech, and Chong together again?? I am so there red eyed, and all!

    5. Mike says:

      Didn’t general mills stop sponsoring Micheal Phelps after he said he smoked weed in college

    6. Ryan Gruver says:

      So is this more money grubbing cutting edge marketing? Or are we seeing a paradigm shift in how our culture approaches this topic? Seems like a confusing message for the masses; if you win gold medals and smoke then you lose endorsements but if your claim to fame is cannabis comedy then you get your own marketing niche.

    7. SAINT RICO says:

      UHmmm….I’m pretty sure it was Kelloggs who dropped Mr. Phelps. Not General Mills.

    8. Little Gypsy says:

      Sell outs. Although the Cheech and Chong movies were somewhat funny….I think they set the marijuana legalization effort back years. Prohibitionists watch the movies and think that is the way things really are. Now General Mills wants to use them for mass marketing. Cute but No thank you. If Cheech and Chong want to make more money put out a new movie with less rediculous antics. Magic brownies are not magic unless they have marijuana in them!

    9. Ray DiPasquale says:

      When one thinks of Cheech & Chong they always will be identified to cannabis not fiberone. The corporations will use any means to sell more product even lies.
      Now if fibreone had hemp oil or any other cannibinoid they may be on to something but they do not and never will. When I see the commercialization of products on TV and see the reactions of people using their products it is a drug experience.Just checkout the York peppermint paddy commercial in which a young woman consumes the product and experiences many drug reactions. The corporations wish they could have invented cannabis then everything with cannabis would be fine however God created cannabis for man to releive his ailments and not for profit.That is exactly the reason the system of corpocracy is a system of hypocrisy when it comes to cannabis.
      Ray DiPasquale

    10. Greg says:

      Please take a moment to click the following link and sign the petition which requests that all those arrested for marijuana only related offenses to be granted a full pardon. In addition to releasing those currently incarcerated, this would also reinstate the rights lost by those with previous convictions, such as the right to vote. Here’s the link: http://wh.gov/gRZ.

      There’s still a long way to go just to get the necessary 150 signatures it needs to appear on the site as an open petition, so please add your name ASAP.

      There are also several other cannabis related petitions which need your support, such as “Allow[ing] industrial hemp to again be grown in the U.S.”

      Never in the history of our nation has it been easier to let your voice be heard and I beseech everyone to take full advantage. WE are the instrument of change we seek. Please do your part.

      Thanks for your support.