How Dwayne Johnson, Serena Williams, Michael Jordan, and Ronaldo were persuaded to endorse a cereal company on a shoestring budget.

If you check through our website, this is likely one of the articles with the longest headlines. But you’ll agree it’s almost impossible for us to want to sell and tell a story with these big names in it without duly mentioning each of them in the headline once we mention one. Thank you for always indulging us! Now let’s move to the surreal feat of a startup cereal brand.


When it comes to marketing, the power of celebrity endorsements cannot be denied. From athletes to actors to musicians, having a famous face or name attached to a brand can skyrocket its popularity. Surreal Cereal, a 2022 edibles startup and a new player in the UK breakfast food market, understood this well and engaged the star power of three world most famous athletes and an actor — Serena Williams, Michael Jordan, Dwayne Johnson, and Cristiano Ronaldo — to make their product go viral.

To start with, Surreal Cereal offers sumptuous, high-protein, zero-sugar, plant-based cereal for adults in different children’s flavours. Now back to the crux of this story. Surreal Cereal’s marketing team was faced with a challenge: how do they make their brand stand out in a crowded market?


They knew that simply creating a delicious cereal wasn’t enough; they needed a hook that would capture the attention of consumers. That’s when they hit upon the idea of using celebrity endorsements; and Serena Williams, Michael Jordan, Dwayne Johnson, and Cristiano Ronaldo were the picks of their lofty idea. Getting these highly successful athletes to endorse their cereal would be a way of stamping how healthy their cereal was for adult consumption because these athletes are known to eat healthy to stay fit.

A good idea, but how do Surreal cereal afford these big names?

Just as you thought, they are a startup that  could barely afford one of these celebrities, not to mention 4 of them. That’s where their ingenuity came parading. And you know what? They actually got those big names to endorse their cereal. See the video below.

If you have yet to see the video before continuing to read, you should go back and do yourself a great service by watching it. If you have, which you most likely have, you’re definitely as impressed as we are. However, for the sake of that one per cent of the one per cent who couldn’t watch the video due to their slumbering network provider or something, we’ll summarize what happened in it.


As initially said, the creative marketing team needed Ronaldo, Serena Williams, Michael Jordan, and Dwayne Johnson. So they hatched a ploy we’ll tag as “Effect above Presence”. In other words, the creative team cracked the idea of enlisting random persons who bear these famous names and creatively deployed them in endorsing their cereal. And the genius worked wonders as pictures of their billboards and the video commercial recently went viral on social media.

Although none of the famous bearers of these names have reacted to the creative use of their brand to sell Surreal cereal, the brand has experienced a ripple effect of these people’s influence. The campaign has reportedly led to skyrocketing sales and media popularity amid several plaudits from creatives and everyday people for  their brilliant marketing strategy. Expectedly, they face no likelihood of legal action from these superstar athletes.

See some of Surreal’s billboards and copy, creatively deploying these 4 big names in advertising their product.


The Forbes-listed brand, since its entry into the cereal scene, has employed creativity and humour to distinguish itself in the industry which has somewhat been starved of innovation for years.

In a recent interview with Performance Marketing World, the Co-founder of Surreal cereal, Kit Gammel and their Senior Creative John Thornton discussed how they’ve managed to creatively scale in a very saturated market within a very short time. They spoke on their recent Black Friday innovation in which they diverted from the bandwagon of just doing discounts on products to selling ridiculous stuff including discounted billboard spaces to customers who’d love their faces on Cereal ads, ‘stolen pint glasses’, ‘onions’, LinkedIn endorsements and different other things.

They not only sold out on these “ridiculous things”, but the traffic to their website was also massive and simultaneously resulted in incredible cereal sales during the Black Friday window.

Surreal’s innovative approach to marketing and exponential growth within a short period is a testament to the potency of creativity when in confluence with the possibilities afforded by technology.

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