Certainly you’ve heard of this, right? The barrage of hateful comments left under the commercial featuring a mixed race family on Cheerios’ YouTube channel. Comments so offensive that General Mills deleted and disabled them. “It’s 2013!!!” is the gist of the typical response from “normal” people on the internet. “I want to eat so many Cheerios right now,” was quite literally my response. And I got a little choked up. Not about the comment fiasco. I stopped getting choked up about youtube comments years ago, thank God, and it comes as absolutely no surprise to me that hateful voices rose from the trollers. None. So all I’m left with is this beautiful commercial, with this adorable child who makes some sincerely delightful faces depicted in a family that almost resembles mine in a way that I cannot recall having seen before. Ever. I am 36 years old. I was in commercials as a kid. I have never seen a commercial like this. That is what is shocking. That in 2013, this near-revolutionary advertising. People took note, did double takes. Heads were scratched. Fears and tempers were flared. Clearly this is long overdue. So, thank you Cheerios!! Thank you for looking at your community and your consumers and seeing what is actually in front of you. And being “bold” enough to “endorse” it. By endorsing reality, you make us face it and give us the opportunity to adjust to it. Maybe even to like it You reflect me and all the others like me who had never experienced the normalization of our lives in a television commercial. This makes for a healthier society. That makes for a healthier me.
And then there’s this! Maybe it’s not as bad as it seems after all.
Turns Out Americans Love ‘Controversial’ Cheerios Ad
Perhaps Racist YouTubers Not Representative of Country as a Whole
June 5, 2013
Last week, a new ad from Cheerios was deemed controversial when media outlets discovered that the racist contingent of the idiocracy known as the YouTube comment section trashed the ad for featuring a mixed-race couple and a biracial child.
But according to data from Ace Metrix, Americans like the ad. In fact, “Good for Your Heart” (called “Just Checking” on YouTube) tested the highest of six new Cheerios ads this year and garnered attention and likeability scores 9% and 11% “above the current 90-day norm for cereals.”
General Mills rightly decided not to be swayed by the rantings of deranged internet comments, telling USA Today that the supposed uproar would not affect future casting decisions.
According to Ace Metrix, the ad — created by Saatchi & Saatchi, New York — “appealed to all age/gender demographics with the exception of males over 50.” While that could be taken as a statement on racial attitudes, Ace Metrix noted that ads with babies tend to perform poorly with this demographic regardless of the race of the child.
The report, which surveyed over 500 consumers, went on to note: “The ad scored best with African-Americans, who collectively scored the ad a 721, followed by Asian Americans and Hispanics. While African Americans and Hispanics generally award advertising higher scores than their ethnic counterparts — the 721 score is 100 higher than average for African-Americans.”
And filtering verbatim commentary from those surveyed, those who specifically mentioned “couple” did so in a positive manner.
“I liked that the couple is mixed race,” wrote one respondent. “Good to see that on TV, but in a subtle manner.”
word cloud from Ace Metrix survey comments