Sep 16, 2011 • By

The magic behind the magic brownies

It’s a recipe for good health, no matter your age. Delicious low-calorie brownies and …

Cheech and Chong?

Yes, the iconic comedy duo that rose to fame in the 1970s and 1980s are indeed the unlikely stars of a marketing campaign launching today for Fiber One new 90 calorie brownies.

You can see Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong in the centerpiece of the campaign, a video meant to leave the impression they’ve reunited for another big screen adventure.

“The joke is, now that they’re older they need some new magic from their brownies,” says Jim Wilson, marketing manager for Fiber One.

Are you with me so far?

The magic is no longer the … Well, you get the picture, right?

The idea to feature Cheech and Chong in the video was born out of a Fiber One brainstorm back in 2010. Jim was part of the team that submitted it as an ambitious project in an internal marketing innovation competition we call Bold Experiments.

“When we came up with ‘Magic Brownies’ as the name for our proposal, it immediately elicited a chuckle,” Jim says. “We just pictured that it could be really funny and that Cheech and Chong would be perfect to bring it to life for Fiber One.”

Leadership agreed the campaign was a winner and funded it as a “Bold Experiment.” This wasn’t a typical marketing campaign for the company, after all. But there was enthusiastic support for the creativity of the campaign.

Of course, Cheech and Chong needed to like the idea too. Fortunately for Fiber One, they did. They agreed to the script, signed the contract, and shot the video over two hot days in California in June.

Still, Jim says it was touch-and-go all the way up to the first take.

“Clint Allen (the General Mills associate advertising production manager at the shoot) told me on the first day, ‘I just have to keep pinching myself that we’re actually shooting this, we’re actually sitting here with Cheech and Chong!’”

The end result is a video that Fiber One hopes will make people laugh as it also spreads the message about the magic fiber benefits of its new brownies.

“I’m really excited to be able to share this video,” says Jim. “It’s been awesome, and I never would have thought I’d be talking about Cheech and Chong while working at General Mills!”

Editor’s note: Visit to see the video with Cheech and Chong, as well as a few features from the cutting room floor.

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  • Kent Miracle

    Brilliant. I applaud the team that conceived (and sold) the idea. Just excellent.

  • Rick Steeb

    As a big fan of Cheech & Chong, as well as an aging Burner, I loved it! =D

    Gonna get me some Magic Brownies! [at the store this time, instead of the dispensary;]

  • Melanie

    I love this! First time in days I have LOL’d (been ill), and I immediately emailed the story to my sister! Excellent concept, and I am one who NEVER likes advertising. Thanks!

  • Diana

    Funnyist thing ever!

  • Frank Oettinger

    Am 71 years old. Can relate to Cheech & Chong. Great concept. Especially like the Magic Family sequence.