Backstreet Boys Star in Chex Mix’s Gloriously Cheesy Behind the Music Parody

With fictional boy band rival 'Snackstreet Boys'

Headshot of Christine Birkner

While the Backstreet Boys topped the charts and stole tweens' hearts in the '90s, they also took a lesser-known boy band under their wing: the Snackstreet Boys. At least, that's according to a new video from Chex Mix that's dripping with nostalgic cheese.

In the mockumentary, a spoof of VH1's Behind the Music that General Mills developed with Mindshare Entertainment and Above Average, the Backstreet Boys discuss their relationship with and tutelage of the Snackstreet Boys, a fictional boy band whose members are dressed as pieces of Chex Mix. The personalities of each member are a play on the way most people eat the snack: They love or hate certain pieces of Chex Mix, similar to members of a boy band.

"People don't take handfuls and mindlessly munch; they tend to dig through the pieces with their fingers, and they specifically love or hate certain pieces," said Betsy Koch, senior marketing manager at General Mills. "We wanted to bring the pieces to life, and the idea of a boy band came up, because what has more passion and drama than boy bands?"

Thus, Wheat Chex is "the bad one," Corn Chex is "the sensitive one," Rye Chip is "the crooner," Breadstick is "the worldly one," and Pretzel is "the worst one." Backstreet Boy Nick Carter says of the pretzel, "You know who eats pretzels? Toddlers. And sad men in bars."

The video chronicles how the Backstreet Boys coach the Snackstreet Boys on dancing and harmonizing, Snackstreet's downfall and its inevitable comeback tour. General Mills will release an original song from the Snackstreet Boys later this year.

The video, along with Chex Mix's campaign last year with Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Carlton Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, helps the brand reach its target demographic, moms with kids.

"For her, the '90s were a time when she was in her teens or 20s, and fun to look back on," Koch said. "The '90s nostalgia is gaining more traction, so we're lucky we jumped on it early. The Backstreet Boys really connected with it and thought it was hilarious." 

@ChristineBirkne Christine Birkner is a Chicago-based freelance writer who covers marketing and advertising.