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General Mills to revive brand icons Cheerios Kid, Green Giant

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General Mills is bringing back some of the iconic characters used in past advertising campaigns: the Cheerios Kid and the Green Giant.

Back in the 1950s and '60s, the Kid encouraged children to connect the "Big G and the Little O" to get "GO" power.  Now, in video and banner ads on the Internet, the character will help Baby Boomers understand how Cheerios can help fight heart disease.

"The Cheerios Kid was a beloved character in the '50s and '60s, and all the kids who loved him back then are grown-ups now. A lot of them have cholesterol issues," said Meredith Tutterow, marketing director for the cereal. "We wanted to bring the Cheerios Kid back to help teach those boomers about how Cheerios can help them lower their cholesterol."

Regulators have warned General Mills in the past about health claims, but the FDA has approved statements saying Cheerios helps lower cholesterol as part of a heart healthy diet.

General Mills is also reviving the career of the Green Giant, who got his start back in 1925 in a campaign to get people to eat more vegetables.  The giant has been effectively retired. But now he has the lead role in a campaign to get people to eat more vegetables. The green guy will get a makeover, receiving friendlier eyes and a jollier face.

"We're bringing his mojo back. He has just played a less prominent role than we believe he has the opportunity to play for the brand and in this whole vegetable conversation with consumers," said Yumi Clevenger-Lee, marketing manager for the giant.