Terry Crews steps into a new role: ‘Big Honey’

While we would have expected yogurt to be more his thing, muscle-bound Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews is the new face of Post Consumer Brands’ cereal brand Honeycomb in a TV, digital video and social campaign that broke this week in Canada and the U.S.

Developed by Toronto and New York-based agency OstrichCo, the campaign stars Crews as a character named “Big Honey.” Wearing a black-and-yellow striped muscle shirt and oversized Honeycomb necklace, Big Honey dispenses encouragement and advice to a core tween and teen audience—helping them navigate challenges like prepping for a big day of tests or awkwardly asking someone out.

A veteran pitchman, Crews brings some of the same shouty energy to the Honeycomb spots as he did with Old Spice during his decade as the deodorant brand’s spokesperson. The spots also show off Crews’ well-documented ability to make his pectoral muscles dance, while each ends with a two-note “miip-miip” mnemonic that resembles a buzzing bee.

“We are thrilled to have Terry Crews bring ‘Big Honey’ to life,” said Post Consumer Brands vice-president of marketing David Bagozzi in a release. “When we were casting ‘Big Honey,’ we knew Terry would be the perfect choice to deliver the confidence, energy and humour we wanted to see come through in the new spots.”

Bagozzi describes Honeycomb as a “gateway” cereal between youth and adulthood, and said the creative strategy is grounded in the realization that tween and teen years can be a challenge to navigate. “[W]e created the ‘Big Honey’ persona to command kids’ attention and inspire them to be their best in a fun and relatable way.”

The ads are running on youth-focused TV channels, while there are also six- and 15-second videos and static ads appearing on social channels. The “Big Honey” character will also appear on Honeycomb’s owned and operated channels.

While the Post campaign is primarily aimed at a youth audience, there are signs that ready-to-eat breakfast sales are gaining in popularity among adults during the pandemic.

London-based data and analytics company GlobalData said in an October report that U.S. breakfast cereal sales would rise by a projected 12% to $12.1 billion, exceeding original estimates of $10.9 billion. The company cited “increased time at home” and “longing for childhood certainties” as key factors.

“With so many people now working from home instead of commuting, many consumers are no longer eating on-the-go or foodservice breakfasts,” said GlobalData consumer analyst Ryan Whittaker. “Instead, many consumers are falling back on a mixture of comforting and healthier options at home. Anxieties caused by uncertainty around the pandemic have produced a tendency to fall back on familiar branded products, especially ones that remind the consumer of their childhood.”

While Crews’ larger-than-life personality makes him a fun and entertaining mascot, he’s got some big wings to fill to match arguably the brand’s most memorable (and certainly oddest) mascot, “Bernard the Bee Boy”—a hyperactive young boy raised by bees who appeared in a series of unforgettable ads in the late 2000s.

Chris Powell