Advertising Age and Business Insider posted stories on the “controversial” Cheerios ad featuring an interracial couple and their daughter. Apparently, the General Mills and Saatchi & Saatchi PR machines have presented data showing Americans liked the spot. Whatever. The interesting part is that the Ad Age and Business Insider posts garnered a high number of responses—including culturally clueless commentary. Additionally, both trade sources injected editorial slants: Ad Age’s subhead read, “Perhaps Racist YouTubers Not Representative of Country as a Whole”; meanwhile, Business Insider’s headline read, “Statistical Proof That People Who Hate The Mixed-Race Cheerios Ad Are Idiots.” MultiCultClassics wonders how the public would feel about the lack of diversity present at places like Saatchi & Saatchi, the oh-so-progressive advertising agency behind the Cheerios commercial. Hey, the Ad Age subtitle could be accurately rewritten to read, “Perhaps Racist Advertising Agencies Like Saatchi & Saatchi Not Representative of Country as a Whole.” And it could be argued that the idiotic comments at Business Insider are representative of a faction within the advertising industry—there is statistical proof that people who hate the mixed-race Cheerios ad are working in ad agencies nationwide. BTW, Business Insider noted, “There was one negative aspect to the ad, Ace Metrix noted. White people and men over 50 liked the ad least of all the demographic groups.” Um, White people—and especially men over 50—must be key targets for the spot’s heart healthy message. So maybe the commercial is not too effective after all.
Turns Out Americans Love ‘Controversial’ Cheerios Ad
Perhaps Racist YouTubers Not Representative of Country as a Whole
By Ken Wheaton
Last week, a new ad from Cheerios was deemed controversial when media outlets discovered that the racist contingent of the idiocracy known as the YouTube comment section trashed the ad for featuring a mixed-race couple and a biracial child.
But according to data from Ace Metrix, Americans like the ad. In fact, “Good for Your Heart” (called “Just Checking” on YouTube) tested the highest of six new Cheerios ads this year and garnered attention and likeability scores 9% and 11% “above the current 90-day norm for cereals.”
General Mills rightly decided not to be swayed by the rantings of deranged internet comments, telling USA Today that the supposed uproar would not affect future casting decisions.
According to Ace Metrix, the ad—created by Saatchi & Saatchi, New York—“appealed to all age/gender demographics with the exception of males over 50.” While that could be taken as a statement on racial attitudes, Ace Metrix noted that ads with babies tend to perform poorly with this demographic regardless of the race of the child.
The report, which surveyed over 500 consumers, went on to note: “The ad scored best with African-Americans, who collectively scored the ad a 721, followed by Asian Americans and Hispanics. While African Americans and Hispanics generally award advertising higher scores than their ethnic counterparts—the 721 score is 100 higher than average for African-Americans.”
And filtering verbatim commentary from those surveyed, those who specifically mentioned “couple” did so in a positive manner.
“I liked that the couple is mixed race,” wrote one respondent. “Good to see that on TV, but in a subtle manner.”