Monday, July 29, 2013

Cheerios Controversial Commercial Sparks Response

Cheerios has recently received an enormous amount of complains from their latest commercial, featuring a biracial couple. The complaints became so overwhelming that Cheerios had to disable commenting on their YouTube channels. Nevertheless, Cheerios stood their ground and supported the ad by publicly saying “At Cheerios, we know there are all kinds of families and we celebrate them all.”




Fast-forward a few week later and two new videos hit the viral waves. The first video features children’s reactions to the “controversial” Cheerios ad. When the interviewer told the children the commercial received negative comments, they were confused as to why. One child even stated “I thought Martin Luther King spoke against this and fixed this already.” This video was a great response to the Cheerios backlash, proving that controversy shouldn’t have started to begin with. 


The second viral video was also a hit, created by Youtuber Kenji American, who thought Cheerio’s statement needed a tougher response. The video is a parody of the original, only this time, the young girl asks her mother “Is it true…in the year 2013, the way our family looks shouldn't be a big deal?” (a question that directly calls out some complainants). The scene then shifts to a woman napping with Cheerios on her heart – implying the parents are a biracial lesbian couple. This begs the question: “What, now this is a problem [too]?”



Think back a few months to K-Mart’s #ShipMyPants, an edgy and memorable video which was created to respond to customer’s complaints involving their in-store shopping experience. It also shows control over brand messaging, leaving it in the hands of the brand – something difficult to maintain in social media.

For Cheerios, it would have been fun to see their response to customers in a similar fashion, but of course this branding strategy doesn’t always work for every brand.

As always, we encourage you to leave a comment below and tell us what you think of Cheerios commercial and the backlash they received.

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