Cheerios Bi-Racial Ad Incites Hateful and Racist Backlash
The latest Cheerios ad featuring a biracial couple and their child caused quite a huge stir in the online space, prompting the company to shut down the comments section of their Youtube video and publicly respond to the hateful comments.
The “Just Checking” ad which follows through with Cheerios’ Heart Healthy campaign features an African American father, a Caucasian mother, and their mixed child. Unfortunately, while bi-racial families are truly on the rise, not everyone agrees with such a blatant portrayal.
“We felt like we were reflecting an American family,” Cheerios VP of Marketing Camille Gibson explained.
Despite a lot of racist feedback that pushed the company to shut down their Youtube comments capability, Cheerios will continue to run the national ad as scheduled, signaling that they are not backing down from their brand messaging.
Moreso, it’s critical for the brand to stand up for an idea that reflects a growing reality, despite close-minded backlash or objections.
“Advertisers for many years always took the safe route, which was to try to ruffle no feathers and in doing so became less and less authentic and real,” explained Allen Adamson from the Landor Associates agency. “To succeed today, big brands like Cheerios need to be in touch with what’s authentic and true about American families.”
“Let’s not pretend racism doesn’t exist,” added actor Charles Whitfield who portrays the dad in the commercial. “Let’s not pretend that we’ve come so far. Let’s be conscious of and appreciate the noise, and the negativity, because there’s so much work to be done.”
Hopefully, with more similar ads and increasingly blended families, society will finally learn that race is truly not something that should be considered “controversial”.