Saturday, June 01, 2013

Cheerios ad with interracial couple: reactions range from "ho hum" to "the sky is falling!"

From the New York Times, written by Stuart Elliot -
The Cheerios spot shows a young girl asking her mother if the cereal is “good for your heart.” Her mother assures her that is so. The girl runs away with a cereal box, and in the next scene, the girl’s sleeping father awakes with a pile of Cheerios atop the side of his chest where his heart is.

The commercial ends with the word “Love” on screen. 

The spot, heartwarming to many, began on national television on Monday and was uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday. But it has caused a furor for the maker of Cheerios, General Mills, because an interracial cast portrays the family.


The casting has attracted angry comments, many of them overtly racist. The volume of negative remarks on YouTube reached the point that General Mills has temporarily disabled the commenting function. 

As of this writing, YouTube comments are still closed, but "likes" number at more than 11K and "dislikes" are at just under 1000.

While the YouTube comments are closed, comments *are* open on many of the pieces written *about* the YouTube comments aren't closed.  The comments on many of those pieces, such as this one from AdWeek, illustrate the ignorant hatred and venom that is so enthusiastically spewed by some.

The ad is pretty much a boilerplate "aw shucks" kind of spot, more about plucking emotional heartstrings than about delivering a substantive message about the product it is promoting.  Which is fine, because after more than 70 years in America's markets and on America's breakfast tables, there's little of substance left to say about Cheerios.

Apparently, some people, less than 10% of the population (based on the YouTube like/dislike percentages; not exactly a scientific poll, but the numbers jibe with my own observations, so they work for this post), are deeply offended and/or frightened by heartstrings that aren't monochromatic.

Apparently, slightly less than 10% of the population are miserable a--holes.

For the record, the spot doesn't really change my opinion of Cheerios.

I didn't like them before seeing the spot; I didn't like them after.  However, the fact that the actors in the spot were portraying an interracial family doesn't make me dislike Cheerios more.

Guess that puts me in the "ho hum" crowd.  I'm OK with that. :)

Anyway, the ad -

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