What year are we in again?? That’s right, it’s 2013 but you wouldn’t be mistaken for thinking it was the mid-1950s if you looked at the YouTube comment section of a recent Cheerios commercial.
Despite anti-miscegenation laws being deemed unconstitutional and interracial marriages declared legal in all 50 US States in 1967, the worst kind of Internet trolls have flocked to make their racist views heard concerning the latest Cheerios commercial which features a fictional interracial couple and their adorable daughter.
The new advert was posted to the Cheerios YouTube page on Tuesday (28 May) and at the time of writing has over 1.7 million views. However, as well as attracting a large number of views, it has also received a “hefty share of vitriolic, ‘racist’ comments aimed at the company for its portrayal of a multi-race family”, MEDIAite reports.
While comments have now been disabled for the video, Tim Nudd from AdWeek noted that it had predictably “devolved into an endless flame war, with references to Nazis, ‘troglodytes’ and ‘racial genocide’”.
The ad was developed by New York agency Saatchi & Saatchi and while some have interpreted it as a “political statement”, interracial marriage has been legal in the States for over 50 years now and there are currently hundreds of thousands of interracial couples in the US alone. Nudd asks a very good, but disturbing question: “At what point will an ad like this just seem normal?”
However, not all feedback has been negative towards the ad. Camille Gibson, Cheerios vice president of marketing, released a statement saying: “Consumers have responded positively to our new Cheerios ad. At Cheerios, we know there are many kinds of families, and we celebrate them all”.
Gibson also appeared on this morning’s (3 June) Today Show where she was asked about the reaction to the ad along with Cheerios response of disabling comments. She said: “The [YouTube] comments that were made were, in our view, not family friendly. And that was really the trigger for us to pull them off… Ultimately we were trying to portray an American family. And there are lots of multicultural families in America today”.
You can watch the adorable ad below: