Daveed Diggs, the hugely popular Hamilton star who’s been honored with both a Grammy and a Tony Award, is rebooting a retro classic for General Mills-owned snack brand Nature Valley.
In a wholesome 2-minute spot, Diggs sings both parts in a cover of The Proclaimers’ hit “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”, with new lyrics that reflect the brand’s efforts to restore access to 10,000 miles of hiking trails across national parks in partnership with the National Park Foundation.
The spot, from Mindshare studio Content+, features Diggs and other characters hiking in nature while he hugs trees and sings lyrics including: “We’ll restore 10,000 miles, and we’ll restore 10,000 more. Nature Valley made these trails accessible so go explore.”
“I love spending time in the outdoors, so when Nature Valley approached me to remake this catchy tune as a fun way to encourage people go outside, I jumped at the chance,” Diggs said in a statement about the campaign. “I love to visit our national parks, so I hope this leads to more people safely hitting the trails this year.”
Known for its catchy, singalong vibe, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” had a rather unusual timeline of success. The song, sung by the Scottish duo (and twins) The Proclaimers, debuted in the United Kingdom in 1988 but didn’t reach North America until 1993, when it got a second life as a hit track on the Benny & Joon film soundtrack.
For several years, Nature Valley said, it has worked with the National Park Foundation to restore trails by removing invasive species, clearing areas, building boardwalks, and managing various repairs.
The video and details of restored trails are available via posts on the brand’s Instagram page, @nature_valley.
Kristin Atherton, brand experience director, snacks and natural/organic at General Mills added: “We are delighted that these restored trails will enable more people to find solace or recharge in America’s treasured national parks and we hope the catchy remake of ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’ inspires more people to visit a park, get outside and explore.”
It’s not Diggs’ first foray into advertising. Last year, he made a cameo appearance in 90-second PSA-style ad for Budweiser that harkened back to the brand’s famed “Whassup” spot from 1999. The spot, about checking in with friends throughout the pandemic, also featured Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade.
In October, Diggs also took questions from fans while test driving the Infiniti QX80 as part of a partnership with the auto brand.
Here’s a look back at the original version of The Proclaimers’ song, followed by credits for the Nature Valley campaign:
Agency: Mindshare’s content lab, Content+
Chief Content Officer: David Lang
President: Greg Manago
Head of Production: Janet Morrison
Managing Director: Josh Spiegelman
Executive Producer: Aris Piliguian
Senior Producer: Dave Murphy
Head of Innovation: Kelsey Whitaker
Producer: Grant Lipschultz
Lead Designer: Ben Chiang
Associate Director: Aydin Abdollahi
Managing Director: Shari Schraber
Managing Director: Dan Richardson
Director: Valerie Henninger
Talent: Burns Entertainment