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Cheerios gets ready for Summer Games

General Mills campaign plays off Cheerios link to Olympics host city, Rio

The Oympics are more than a month away but General Mills is already cheering for Canadian athletes with the help of its Cheerios brand.

Indeed, given that the name of the host city, Rio, appears in the word “Cheerios”, the cereal may be a perfect fit for the upcoming Summer Games.

“It is a once in a lifetime brand opportunity where the name of the Olympic host city is also in our name: CheeRios,” says Emma Eriksson, marketing director at General Mills Canada. "So we thought it would be fun to highlight that especially through our packaging.

The CheeRio campaign includes packaging on Cheerios, Multi-Grain Cheerios, and Honey Nut Cheerios as well as in-store point of sale materials to boost customer excitement and sales.

Cereal boxes feature five Canadian athletes: Ellie Black (gymnastics), Justyn Warner (track), Mark De Jonge (kayak), Katerine Savard (swimming) and Antoine Valois-Fortier (judo).

“The goal is to engage Canadians to cheer for our Canadian athletes in Rio,” says Eriksson.

General Mills has been a sponsor of the Canadian Olympic team since 1998.

In past Olympics, campaigns focused on cheering for Canadian athletes, centred around Cheerios because of the word cheer in it. Now it’s both “Cheer” and “Rio”.

In past years as well, General Mills printed postcards that people could cut out of the Cheerios box. This year, a website and social media campaign (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) #CheerRIO2016 are being used.

Cheerios will also sponsor a Cheer Station in Rio at Canada Olympic House where athletes can check into social media.

The Olympics kick off Aug. 5 and run until Aug. 21.

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