History of the Jingle: "Have You Tried Wheaties?" Everything has a beginning...a first. Why should jingles or "selling a product using music and lyrics" be any different?
"If it wasn't for a radio jingle sung on Christmas Eve in 1926 by a barbershop quartet in Minneapolis, Wheaties cereal would have been long forgotten by now. ... Initially known as “Washburn's Gold Medal Whole Wheat Flakes,” the name was dropped a year later for Wheaties."
The Wheaties advertisement, with its lyrical hooks, was seen by its owners as extremely successful. According to one account, General Mills had seriously planned to end production of Wheaties in 1929 on the basis of poor sales.
Soon after the song "Have you tried Wheaties?" aired in Minnesota, however, of the 53,000 cases of Wheaties breakfast cereal sold, 40,000 were sold in the Twin Cities market. After advertising manager Samuel Chester Gale pointed out that this was the only location where "Have You Tried Wheaties?" was being aired at the time, the success of the jingle was accepted by the company.
Encouraged by the results of this new method of advertising, General Mills changed its brand strategy. Instead of dropping the cereal, it purchased nationwide commercial time for the advertisement. The resultant climb in sales single-handedly established the "Wheaties" brand nationwide.
Have you tried Wheaties?
They're whole wheat with all of the bran.
Won't you try Wheaties?
For wheat is the best food of man.
They're crispy and crunchy
The whole year through,
The kiddies never tire of them
and neither will you.
So just try Wheaties,
The best breakfast food in the land.
Note: The backstory is the fact that the FCC was clamping down on DJ's promoting products by simply talking about them. It seemed that the on-air personality was personally endorsing the product, when actually, they were getting paid to talk about it. It was all part of the "payola issue"