Huh. Not sure what they were thinking with this one. General Mills decided to celebrate Black history month by replacing their mascot “Buzzbee” with Crispus Attucks, widely believed by historians to be the first person to die in the American Revolution.
“We thought it’d be nice if instead of Buzzbee the honey bee, our mascot was African American longshoreman Crispus Attucks,” said General Mills CEO Jeff Harmening in a frustratingly uninformative statement.
When asked directly why the company chose Crispus Attucks, an odd choice seeing as he’s more typically associated with the Boston Massacre and not honey flavored oat cereal, the General Mills twitter account tweeted “you’ll have to watch our new ad to find out! #honeynutcheerios #crispusattucks #murderedbythebritish #honey”.
So maybe they did think this through after all, right? Wrong. The ad in question features Buzzbee looking at the camera and bizarrely declaring “I am leaving for the month of February due to a family emergency. It’s not too serious or anything so don’t worry”. Um…Ok? Buzzbee then packs a suitcase with a comically large number of Hawaiian shirts and says matter-of-factly “my replacement will obviously be Crispus Attucks”.
The front of the special addition Honey Nut Cheerios box features a 1771 engraving of Attucks edited so that he’s holding a honey dipper and exclaiming the oddly lengthy statement (referred to by General Mills as his “catchphrase”): “Hello customers. My name is Crispus Attucks and if I had not died heroically in 1770 in the Boston Massacre and had somehow survived via magic or some sort of steampunk machine until 1979, my favorite cereal would have been Honey Nut Cheerios!”.
Wow. What the hell is General Mills thinking?
The back of the cereal boxes features fun activities and games for kids that shed absolutely no light on the company’s thought process. There’s a maze where you have to lead Crispus Attucks to a bowl of honey nut cereal, a word search where you have to find the words “cereal” and “Crispus Attucks”, and a tic tac toe board with the caption “Tic Tac Toe: Crispus Attucks Edition ©” that somehow manages to raise even more questions.
Only adding to the evidence that no one thought this through, for a limited time only if you collect 12 boxtops, you can send them in for a Buzzbee plush toy with the name “Crispus Attucks” written on it in sharpie.