Cream of Wheat • Influencer Marketing and Social Listening


It’s easy to make the grave mistake of underestimating legacy brands. But in a landscape that is all but oversaturated with new products and brands to discover, consumers are looking to legacy brands for the authenticity and substance they crave.

That’s why a deliberate, sustainable brand strategy is so fundamental to success for brands like Cream of Wheat. Steeped in a long heritage of product excellence, Cream of Wheat faced a unique challenge: generating new interest in its brand.


Cream of Wheat in packaging next to a bowl of Cream of What

Historically, interest and love for Cream of Wheat had been passed on from generation to generation. The emotional connection to the brand was only forged when a parent or loved one made Cream of Wheat for their children.

And while this connection can’t be understated in its value to the brand, it left Cream of Wheat without a direct connection to millennial consumers as they aged into their prime spending years. This insight drove us to develop a brand and content strategy that could take a beloved and trusted legacy brand and make it relevant for future consumers to enjoy for years to come.

Along with a monthly content calendar that demonstrated contemporary and unexpected new ways to enjoy Cream of Wheat, we dedicated significant resources to activating fan engagement via carefully targeted social listening.

We monitored direct Cream of Wheat mentions as well as untagged mentions and keywords like “what to eat for breakfast” and “hot cereal.” We also placed a particular emphasis on identifying and engaging with verified accounts to amplify the Cream of Wheat brand among trusted influencers.

Dancing Groot

It was during one such routine monitoring exercise that we discovered a tweet by an unexpected fan: Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn. We learned quickly that Gunn was an enthusiastic lifelong Cream of Wheat fan.

Rather than return a simple “thank you” to such a high profile mention, we opted to think outside the box. Using just the office decorations around us, a few mobile photography tools and a little creative thinking, we quickly created an animated gif featuring Groot, one of the film’s most lovable and memorable characters.

The tweet hit the mark and immediately developed into every marketer’s dream: an authentic relationship between brand and trusted influencer. Gunn continued to mention Cream of Wheat to his fans online and on podcasts like Anna Faris’ Unqualified.

James Gunn tweeting his excitement over being followed by Cream of Wheat
Our response to James Gunn's mention.

More than Meets the Tweet

Ultimately, the brand romance of Cream of Wheat and James Gunn boiled down to a straight-forward strategic approach to content strategy—one that supported both hard-working content and influencer relationship building.

It was through this methodology that we were able to forge that direct emotional brand connection with the ever elusive, ever sought-after millennial consumer. After all, who doesn’t want to eat the same breakfast as their favorite superheroes?

Tweet stating our surprise that James Gunn and Anna Farris where sharing their favorite Cream of Wheat recipes on Unqualified
Tweet responses to our tweet stating our surprise that James Gunn and Anna Farris where sharing their favorite Cream of Wheat recipes on Unqualified

The numbers say it all




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