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Lucky Charms taps into audio marketing trend by dropping magical melodies

Marshmallow-studded cereal brand Lucky Charms has released a handful of sprightly songs by Lucky the Leprechaun. The effort is aimed at driving new awareness of an old favorite.

The hottest new artist of 2021 might not be Olivia Rodrigo after all. General Mills-owned cereal brand Lucky Charms has today announced that its chipper mascot Lucky the Leprechaun has dropped his debut album, Magically Delicious, is available across all major streaming platforms but promoted exclusively on Spotify.

“Lucky Charms has inspired families to create magical moments together for decades and now we’re bringing families even closer through the power of music,” General Mills senior marketing manager Mindy Murray tells The Drum. “We’re not only dropping an earworm, but we’re using eight songs – each of a different genre – as a fun way to inspire families to dance and sing along, while teaching them about the unique powers of Lucky’s charms.”

The album, which is targeted at parents (the brand’s primary buyers), comprises eight songs that each represents a unique charm and corresponding marshmallow shape. Magically Delicious spans electronic, blues, K-pop and more and features three singles: Clover Jig, Unicorn Do-Hop and Horseshoe Hoedown. The lyrics of each song play on the magical qualities of the respective charms: “Hold up, wait a minute / Let me put some clover in it / Hold up, yeah you feel it / Got good luck, that clover did it,” Lucky croons on Clover Jig. The final track on the album was selected by fans via a General Mills Instagram Story poll and was made available this week on Spotify.

The project also includes a handful of music videos brought to life by creative agency Anomaly. The videos, which showcase the songs’ lyrics and include colorful animations, could appeal to parents looking for entertaining ways to play with and educate their children.

“Whimsy and nostalgia are at the heart of The Lucky Charms brand and we’re thrilled that it is leaning into the power of digital audio to create something magical – even if that means The Clover Jig will be stuck in your head for days,” says Ann Piper, Spotify’s head of client partnerships, US Vertical Team.

The brand marketing initiative is Lucky Charms’ first foray into music. However, General Mills has been increasingly investing in audio channels. Earlier this month, the company created a remake of Bobby Pickett’s popular Monster Mash to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its monster cereal brand line (which includes Franken Berry, Count Chocula and Boo Berry). The song was made available on Spotify.

Such initiatives speak to a larger trend unfolding in the world of marketing: audio content and audio advertising are more popular than ever. According to research conducted by Edison Research in conjunction with Triton Digital, as of this year, some 57% of US consumers listen to podcasts. Meanwhile, a Digital Media Association study reveals that nearly a third of US consumers use a music subscription service. Such trends represent valuable opportunities for advertisers, who can reach a range of audiences with relevant, targeted messaging on the platforms where they listen. In fact, eMarketer data projects that digital ad spending in audio will jump 16% this year alone.

By tapping into the power of audio, General Mills could further accelerate its recent growth. Financial numbers reported in June indicate that, for the fiscal year ending in May, the company saw annual sales rise 3% from the year prior, with organic net sales up 4%. In a statement released with earnings data, the company said: “General Mills expects that changes in consumer behaviors driven by the Covid-19 pandemic will result in ongoing elevated consumer demand for food at home, relative to pre-pandemic levels. These changes include more time spent working from home and increased consumer appreciation for cooking and baking. The company plans to capitalize on these opportunities.”

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