Some jingles have been around a long time and are recognized the world over. Take McDonald’s for example: “Ba-da-ba-ba-ba I’m lovin’ it.” This jingle came to life in 2003, and while it is iconic, it is not the oldest. That accolade is believed to belong to Wheaties.
According to General Mills, the world’s first singing commercial was performed on Christmas Eve in 1926. Over the radio, four male singers sang, “Have you tried Wheaties? They’re whole with all the bran. Won’t you try Wheaties? For wheat is the best food of man.”
The singers became known as the Wheaties Quartet, made up of an undertaker, a bailiff, a printer and a businessman. They would go on to sing the Wheaties song live on-air for years for $6 per person each week.
In 1929, General Mills wanted to drop the Wheaties brand before its advertising manager revealed that 30,000 of the 53,000 cases sold that year were bought in the Minneapolis area, where the Wheaties Quartet commercial was regularly broadcast. The singing commercials began to air nationwide and sales soared.
It wasn’t until 1933 that the “Breakfast of champions” tagline was introduced. Looking back nearly a century after the cereal’s conception, it has earned its place as one of the most famous food slogans in history.