Feb 28, 2019 • By

How the Leprechaun Trap came to life

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, and while the holiday has religious roots, in mainstream America it’s often celebrated with an abundance of Irish food and décor in green, gold, rainbow, clover and leprechaun themes.

Perfect for Lucky Charms.

And this year, the cereal’s specially-marked Leprechaun Trap boxes are shamrockin’ off store shelves across the U.S. as cereal fans prepare for St. Patrick’s Day in creative and crafty ways.


The leprechaun trap box idea was actually fan-driven, according to Jessica TeBrake, assistant marketing communications manager for Lucky Charms.

“As we looked at what our fans were doing around the St. Patrick’s Day holiday on social media, we saw that families were making leprechaun traps and they were using Lucky Charms cereal and marshmallows as leprechaun bait,” she explains.Leprechaun-Trap-set-up-with-cereal

It’s a fitting connection for the cereal brand whose equity character – Lucky – just happens to be a leprechaun who seems to always have someone chasing after his Lucky Charms.

Five different leprechaun trap designs are featured across boxes of all Lucky Charms’ flavor varieties. traps also come to life outside the cereal box.

Because the brand team wanted to put Lucky the Leprechaun in a new live-action animation spot – which features two children disguised as unicorns who try to trick Lucky into entering a unicorn stable.

See the magic unfold, in the short video.

“This spot was an extension of our amazing unicorn campaign from a few months ago,” says TeBrake. “We’d gone in a somewhat different creative direction the last couple years and we really wanted to get back to Lucky’s roots and put him back in the forefront of this digital campaign.”

But putting Lucky front and center through animated storytelling is no easy task.

See storyboards, sketches and behind-the-scenes photos from the making of the Leprechaun Trap spot, in this video.

“The first thing we really had to do was to make sketches of the kids in the spot with unicorn heads on, and the likely way that they would fit into the windows of that unicorn stable trap, and how Lucky was going to interact with them,” says Wayne Brejcha, creative director, Calabash, the production studio behind the recent spots featuring Lucky and our Magical Unicorns.


Calabash reverse-engineers the ‘shooting boards’ from the animatic at this point. That gives everyone a kind of comic-book copy of the spot.

“The original idea was that the kids would stand up through the stable windows. But there are lower doors. And we thought, ‘Oh, man, those doors are going to have to open. There’s no way we’re going to get this thing to just fall down neatly around the kids anyway’,” Brejcha says.


Rough Boards. The first go at creating the boards is usually pretty scribbly. It’s just enough to get everyone onto a (more or less) concrete starting point. But it’s a bit of a guess just how well it will work in the actual screen time the team has.

“We very carefully plan our storyboards and our layouts and then we don’t deviate – or at least try not to deviate – too far from that through the production,” adds Sean Henry, executive producer, Calabash. “It’s just vitally important that we plan the camera angles exactly and know how these things will fit together.”

The live-action was done at Resolution Studios.


The child in the green screen set at Resolution Studios, running through quick rehearsals with Lisa Clinard, from Resolution, and Eric Kallman, agency creative director.

The end result is a fun spot featuring Lucky’s latest getaway.

You can hear much more from Brejcha and Henry about the process to animate Lucky the Leprechaun, and how they approach their work, in the latest episode of our “A Taste of General Mills podcast.”

Listen (29 min)

SHOW NOTES – Episode 42: February 28, 2019

Video: Leprechaun Trap

Video: Bringing the Leprechaun Trap to Life

Video: Sneeze

Link: Calabash

It’s easy to listen to our podcast when you’re on the go. Just listen on any podcast app on your mobile device (search for General Mills), including Apple Podcasts, or right here on our blog.


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