Who knew that a harmless bowl of cereal could create such drama?
The latest television ad for Cheerios that features an interracial couple with their daughter has caused so much unnecessary dialogue over race, that General Mills has decided to temporarily disable commentary for the ad on YouTube. In the commercial, the young girl asks her mother if the cereal is good for your heart. After her mother tells her yes, she takes the box into the living room and dumps the cereal on her Black father’s chest, right over the heart, as he is napping. He wakes up covered in the fun shaped O’s a bit confused. You can’t help but to smile at the little girl’s attempt to keep her daddy heart healthy.
Apparently some folks weren’t smiling. The commentary for the ad alluded to all sorts of negativity to the family, even going as far as labeling the father a deadbeat who would only leave the family at his first opportunity. The associate marketing director for Cheerios Meredith Tutterow stated that the ad will “absolutely not” be withdrawn, and General Mills has no plans to remove the commercial from television. “There are many kinds of families,” Tutterow said, “and Cheerios just wants to celebrate them all.”
As of today, the commercial had more approvals, better known as “likes,” than “dislikes” on YouTube, jumping past 20,000. “We’re really gratified,” Tutterow added, in response to the support from viewers about the commercial.
But the negative comments seem to outshine the positive ones. One comment linked the family dynamic to the high rate of Black crime in certain areas, and the racist language used was far worse. The AdFreak blog that is part of Adweek.com ran a post under the title “It’s 2013, and People are Still Getting Worked Up About Interracial Couples in Ads.”
Tutterow said she that General Mills is “a bit surprised it’s turned into a story.” Frankly, so are we. It’s just cereal.
This is not the first time an interracial family has been depicted in a commercial, but it is the first for a Cheerios commercial. We hope it won’t be the last. It’s 2013, folks. And again, it’s just cereal.
Check out the Ad below …
What do you think of the Cheerios commercial? Leave a comment and let us know!