Cheerios' Multiracial Ads Bring a Healthy Dose of Reality to the Table
After giving birth to the mother lode of racist controversy last year, Cheerios is at it again with a sequel
The iconic cereal company, owned by General Mills, gave birth to a mother lode of controversy and racist comments when they released a simple commercial on their YouTube channel featuring a multiracial family. The commercial was part of a larger campaign centered around family togetherness, but not everyone was feeling the love for the black dad, white mom, and biracial daughter. Cheerios, a brand not known to spark such outrage, stood behind its decision to showcase a modern, multiracial family and the commercial was aired according to plan.
Turns out, Cheerios wasn’t done delivering statements on the demographics of a modern-day family and, for the first time ever, will be advertising the sequel with the very same interracial family—including the beautiful, biracial Grace Colbert—during the Big Game this weekend. The commercial is every bit of brilliance that its big sister was last year, embracing the beauty of family, delivering big news and making your heart swoon for the little actress. According to Ace Metrix, a company that measures the impact of advertising, the first ad, “tested the highest of six new Cheerios ads this year and garnered attention and likability scores 9 percent and 11 percent above the current 90-day norm for cereals.”
For so many of us in multiracial families, the fact that Cheerios stood by their decision—despite the onslaught of anonymous and cowardly racists last year—was a victory, to say the least. It’s not common to see depictions of us in advertisements, and the implications these decisions have on our parenting is real. I’ll never forget when my daughter, Alina, who is the same age of the sweet actress in the commercial, looked up and saw the TV. At 3 years old, she recognized the family as her own: “Mama, that little girl looks like me! And her dad is like my dad!”
True, the dad on television was black, like Alina’s dad… but Cheerios also chose to highlight our everyday, our normal, and the fact that the TV black dad was taking a mid-morning nap on the couch just like my daughter’s black dad does. Seems trivial? Just ask a multiracial family the last time they found their wholesome lives depicted in the media. On that day, in so many ways, Cheerios was the most heart healthy ingredient in our lives.
Last year, Cheerios threw the ultimate hail mary by casting an interracial couple and gave birth to, what hopefully implies, a prevalence of interracial and multiracial families on television. This year, they’re scoring the winning touchdown with the announcement of their newest multiracial baby.
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