In the NYT Business section this morning is an article reporting that the breakfast cereal brand Cheerios will be sponsoring a new ad during the Super Bowl, featuring the same interracial family that sparked racist outrage in an earlier ad last May:
A brand that garnered brickbats — and bouquets — last year for its take on modern family life is returning with another 30-second parable about diversity, this time during Super Bowl XLVIII, the year’s biggest showcase for advertising.
The brand is Cheerios cereal, which introduced in May a commercial featuring an interracial family that unexpectedly generated an outpouring of vituperative online remarks. Instead of shying away from the controversy, the maker of Cheerios, General Mills, has decided to bring out a sequel during this Sunday’s championship game, probably in the first half.
General Mills did not intend to be provocative when it introduced the first commercial, Ms. Gibson said, nor does the company intend that now. Rather, the spots reflect that “there are many kinds of families,” she said, “and we celebrate them all.”
It was the interracial nature of the Cheerios cast that set off some people online, who railed against the original commercial using angry, overtly racist language. The backlash was so intense that General Mills, which had uploaded the spot to YouTube after broadcasting it on television, quickly disabled the commenting function on the post. As of Tuesday, viewers still cannot leave comments on the commercial, which has been watched almost 4.7 million times.
Glad to see Cheerios isn’t being intimidated by the cesspool of racist deadenders.