North Central’s Assistant Theater Professor Stars in General Mills Cheerio Commercial

North Central’s Assistant Theater Professor Stars in General Mills Cheerio Commercial

Professor Wayne Matthews starred in a national broadcasted Cheerios commercial with his granddaughter over the summer of 2019.

North Central University assistant theater professor gets national recognition by starring in a national broadcast commercial over the summer. Professor Wayne Matthews acted in the main role for a Cheerios Commercial that aired over 4,582 times in the states on July 14, 2019. 

Having the experience, Matthews was approached by his talent agency over the summer about auditions for a General Mills commercial.  Over the years, Matthews has acted in a few local commercials, including one for Blue Cross Blue Shield. Beyond commercials, he has filled roles for college and community plays.

General Mills mentioned they were looking for a grandfather with a granddaughter that was four to five years old. Matthews responded right away and auditioned with 25 other people for the “spot”, Matthews said, “They liked us” and both he and his granddaughter were called in for callbacks. After a day and a half they got a call with the news that they were chosen.

Wayne was excited for the opportunity but more than that he was thrilled he got the chance to do it with his granddaughter.

 “I am grateful the opportunity came my way,” said Matthews. “It was an experience I will never forget—and to do it with my granddaughter—It is humbling that God opened doors like this.” 

            Film day came quickly, with only a few days following auditions, Matthews and his granddaughter were sitting at a kitchen breakfast table eating cheerios for the camera. Matthews described Wednesday, June 20, 2019 in detail and excitement. 

            The commercial was filmed in a house in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The house was rented out from a homeowner to fit the feel General Mills was looking to portray. Upstairs the General Mills marketing team watched on monitors, while the agency team was in the living room watching, while the production team filmed the scenes in the kitchen.

“It is all an intricate process, they were great to work with,” said Matthews. He then stood up out of his seat with excitement and a smile as he reenacts his role. “The pouring of the cereal and the pouring of the milk took a lot of takes, this is where it became fun,” He described the setting of the scene and explained job descriptions of people on the production team. “There were bins and bins of Cheerios, I ate a lot of Cheerios that day,” he said laughing. He explained, there was a “gal” in charge of the Cheerios and her job was to get the perfect amount of Cheerios in the bowl and then she would have to take tweezers and arrange the cheerios 25 times per bowl and turn “the O’s” to face the camera.  

            General Mills headquarters is located in Golden Valley, Minnesota. They have created over 100 different products and brands throughout the world, one of them beingCheerios.For a 15 second commercial, the many retakes and precise placement of “the O’s” may have made all the difference. This commercial had a national audience engagement of 8.1 out of 10. 

This opportunity reached nationally but it also reached locally at North Central. Matthews plans to use the opportunity to keep on teaching his theater students. Matthews said his theater students are just as excited about the short clip as he is. 

“It lends credibility to the craft I teach,” said Matthews, who has taught at North Central for eight years.  He said he was glad he got the opportunity because being a professor doesn’t allow for much extra time for other acting opportunities. 

“This is an opportunity I will remember for a long time,” said Matthews.

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