Lots of sources have already addressed the controversy and commentary surrounding the Cheerios commercial featuring an interracial couple and their daughter. Even AdFreak has collected 175 comments and counting.
Is there really anything here to be offended over? Yes, but the insulting issues have nothing to do with the actual commercial.
For starters, Saatchi & Saatchi New York created the spot. It’s always annoying when White advertising agencies try to come off as oh-so-progressive with race and culture—yet completely fail to demonstrate bona fide progress in their own hallways. When and why did the agency creatives decide to mix things up with the casting? Does such open-mindedness occur when hiring decisions are made at Saatchi & Saatchi? Don’t bet on it.
Annoyance must also be directed towards General Mills, the company behind Cheerios. Would the client ever have allowed its minority agencies to produce an integrated message like this one? Don’t bet on it. Hell, General Mills probably cut the crumbs typically handed to the minority partners, figuring the interracial family covered White and Black audiences.
Saatchi & Saatchi and General Mills are likely patting themselves on the back for being pseudo-forward thinkers. Too bad their day-to-day actions show their true colors.