Home Video Vault Video Vault: When You Catch ME Blogging About a Cheerios Commercial…

Video Vault: When You Catch ME Blogging About a Cheerios Commercial…

by Erika Nicole Kendall

…you know that’s saying something.

I love little kids... when I don't have to be held accountable for them.

I love little kids… when I don’t have to be held accountable for them.

Just thought I’d leave this right here for ya:

I’m not here to debate the merits of interracial dating, and you can feel encouraged to keep the hatred to yourselves.


I want to ask some questions to people who have much longer memories than me: is this the first time an interracial family has been featured in a major brand commercial? Is this groundbreaking?

In doing some reading on food marketing and the many ways that brands try to “capture out hearts… and then our wallets,” seeing this ad really took me aback.

A quick Google search shows that most of the major outlets writing about the ad are trying to make it about the fact that people “have a problem with interracial families.” I’m not here for that, and I hope I can make this clear. I will say that I saw the comments on the video prior to the comments being closed, and… let’s just say that there was more than enough reason to close them. Whew.

Brands generally don’t like to rock the boat too much – they perpetuate the status-quo as much as possible, as a means of avoiding pissing people off and losing brand loyalists. I’m more interested in why Cheerios decided to go with this ad, but still doesn’t quite have the nerve to double down on it…since it’s only been airing in the wee hours of the morning.

Heaven forbid it, but I liked the ad. This was made easier by the fact that Cheerios was the cereal I used to wean Mini-me off of sugary cereals, so I wasn’t sneering the entire time I watched it. I definitely smiled… but I’m skeptical (as usual.)

What did you think?

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BalancingJane May 31, 2013 - 12:41 AM

I’m in an interracial marriage and have a biracial daughter, and I was heartened to see a family that looks like mine in a major brand’s commercial. (Those YouTube comments. I just. . . done.)

I can’t think of any other mainstream ads that have done the same thing. In the times when I have seen an interracial relationship used in ads, it was to play up either the stereotype of these relationships as “exotic” or to do something weird with the “confusion” of being “mixed” (I’m thinking particularly of those awful Milkbites commercials).

I’m sad that this Cheerio’s ad is getting so many negative reactions from people because it’s fantastic to see an interracial family who is simply a family.

Jerzygirl45 May 31, 2013 - 3:18 AM

I thought it was a cute ad. They wisely focused on the little girl first because – you just can’t deny the adorableness of that cute little face. Then when I saw the mother, I was anxiously awaiting the remainder to see where they would take this. I was also happy to see a relatively familiar face of Malik Whitfield as the dad. It’s a shame that something like this is so noticeable simply because of the rarity of it.

Then I made the mistake of reading the Youtube comments #SMDH

I remember a few years ago seeing an IKEA commercial featuring an Asian man and a Black woman designing their place with the store’s furniture. The ad ended with the couple jumping into bed for the night and turning off the light. Supposedly, this series of commercials used actual couples.

Other than that nothing really stands out in my mind.

So — yay progress???

Cynthia Love May 31, 2013 - 8:41 AM

I too saw this commercial and thought the little girl was adorable. When they showed the mother I was like wow ok, then when they showed the man I thought wow this is a first and I told my husband. I can’t recall any commercials using interracial couples and a baby so it definitely stood out but I liked it

Courtney May 31, 2013 - 10:16 AM

How adorable! I am a black woman who’s been with my white husband for 5 years now and I think this ad is wonderful. I’ve seen ads with mixed couples before, but never with an entire family. Though I am concerned about General Mills for many other reasons (use of GMOs, marketing sugary foods to children, etc.), I can’t deny that this ad put a smile on my face

TJ June 7, 2013 - 5:45 PM

Same. I’ve only ever seen couples before, never with children. And usually, it’s a black woman with a white man, or any other combination but white woman/black man.

I loved it. Not only is the premise of her putting the cereal on his heart adorable, this is the first time I’ve ever seen a family that looked like mine on television- and I’m 30.

Tamara @ The Stretch Jean Incident May 31, 2013 - 11:34 AM

LOVE IT! Granted, I’m multi-racial so I guess I’m biased, but it’s about damn time. I still get frustrated when filling out various forms and they still, in 2013, want me to choose ONE race to describe myself. Eh, anywho, that’s a rant for another day.

I don’t eat Cheerios, but I got their back now.

Margaret May 31, 2013 - 1:26 PM

I was SHOCKED when I saw the Cheerios commercial. I couldn’t wait to tell my daughter who was equally as shocked. (We were very angered by those Milkbites commercials. You come to expect junk like that, just not from a company.)
Anyhoo, my daughter is mixed (I’m black and her dad/my ex- husband is white). We are so happy that a major brand has shown interracial marriages in such a blunt, beautiful and yet normal way.
I have seen some print ads with interracial couples, but they are usually in the fashion magazines and they aren’t as obvious. But nothing as big as this.

Seems like progress. **crossing my fingers**

Shlonnie May 31, 2013 - 2:42 PM

I have seen a car commercial (Toyota I think) with a black mother and Asian father.

S. Blaze May 31, 2013 - 4:12 PM

I too am happy to see such an ad. I date and have dated interracially for most of my dating time. I definitely was taken aback because it is rare to see interracial families represented in mainstream media. It’s definitely another push forward. Way to go General Mills!!!!!!!!!!

Brenda55 May 31, 2013 - 6:01 PM

Well dang. That ad was adorable, who could dis that??????

Some folks need to tune into the 21 century. The numbers of interracial families of all types is on the increase. Companies know this and want a piece of that growing market.

Brainybabe May 31, 2013 - 6:28 PM

I think what may be groundbreaking is the fact that the interracial relationship showcase is between a black man and a white woman — fear/hatred of such being the foundation on which the nation’s most racist Jim Crow, segregationist-era laws were based. Not so sure there would have been (as much of) a backlash had the couple been a white man and a black, Asian, Latina or indigenous woman as such a coupling has always been among the “privilege” enjoyed by (rich) white men. SMH. Personally, I like the ad. So cute when the little girl tosses Cheerios in an attempt to protect her daddy’s heart. But the hate that came this ad’s way is based in the foundation of the nation.

Roz May 31, 2013 - 8:42 PM

I thought it was odd that the writers/director kept the married couple in separate rooms, when usually, even if a family starts in separate rooms at the beginning of a commercial, they all come together and end up in the same room by the end of the commercial, almost as a way to reinforce the family unit. It seemed like they were trying to pull a fast one, like maybe people somehow wouldn’t realize they were watching an interracial couple and their bi-racial child. Also, I did not like the fact that the little girl is old enough to speak in grammatically correct sentences, but the writers made sure she did not, and finally, for the love of all that is holy, can the writers and directors of these commercials stop forcing these kids to speak in garbled, baby voices? It is not cute.

Adaobi June 1, 2013 - 12:02 AM

I happened to see the commercial aired shortly after I saw an article posted on a blog about it. I didn’t bother reading the comments because I knew what to expect. I had to shake my head just knowing what kind of hate people had to spew using the anonymity of the internet to do it. Later that same day the commercial came on while my 6-year-old daughter was in the room. She watched quietly while I watched her to gauge her reaction. Do you know what she did? She laughed hysterically when she saw what the little girl did to her father. No questions at all about why mom and dad looked different. So I choose to see it the way she does, a simple commercial with a cute kid trying to make sure her dad lived a long healthy life.

Perplexed June 1, 2013 - 2:29 PM

What would be unique and well overdue are loving African-American couples with complexions like our beautiful First Lady and natural hair styles. How many couples have you seen in commercials like that? Until we glorify and highlihlight Black love, I can’t celebrate the stereotypical black man chubby white women union. My thoughts and opinion.

Erika Nicole Kendall June 1, 2013 - 3:52 PM

McDonalds features us plenty. Even sponsors Black-targeted Gospelfests. *files nails*

Keiji June 4, 2013 - 12:42 PM

This whole website is based on trying to get people to see past the size of those involved, and into the hearts and health of them. Over the time I have been with my “stereotypical black boyfriend”, I have had a weight change of 75 lbs, and I still have 45 to go. One of the reasons it took so long to get used to being with him, was that coming from the South I was intimidated about what people would say that I was dating a black man, but after 4 years, I don’t even view him as being “a black man”, he’s my boyfriend. My weight and his weight have never had anything to do with our relationship, not even original attraction (since I gained 40 lbs after meeting him), and just like with skin color, those superficial things have nothing to do with how we interact with each other. It’s also implying that chubby women cannot be with anyone. So you think it’s ok for chubby white women to be only with white men (chubby or otherwise), whether or not they love each other? And the same for other skin colors? I refuse to believe that a loving relationship is kept together based solely on the outer physical attributes of the person, and that after months and years of being together, it’s about trust, bonding, and the life we’ve built together. I agree we don’t have to support a stereotype, but at the same time, don’t judge two people just because they happen to fit into it. I didn’t get together with him because he was the only one who would accept me, I love him because he’s the best man I’ve ever met.

CurlyCuse June 1, 2013 - 3:47 PM

Well, I’m biracial, so sure, it’s nice to see families that look like mine once did (my parents divorced after 16 years and 4 curly headed girls. Whatever).
But I recognize that marketing and advertising are about branding and buzz. And General Mills/Cheerios are getting a lot of buzz about this one! I mean, kudos to them for pushing the envelope a little, but seriously, I suspect they knew full well there’d be a lot of chatter about thus ad.
I’m thankful I didn’t see the comments before they were removed.

Danielle June 2, 2013 - 2:35 PM

I saw the ad on some news site I frequent (probably Huffington Post or another similar site). I chose to view the commercial because the headline was so provocative, “Cheerios Commercial Causes Negative Reaction,” or something similar. Well, I watched the commercial and thought it was adorable. That little girl was too cute. By the end of the commercial, I was perplexed as to why the headline read as it did. I thought that maybe I’d missed something, so I watched it again. I still didn’t see how this simple ad could warrant the negative responses I’ve only heard about (thankfully, I saw it well after the comments had been removed). I am very aware of racial issues in this country. But, this commercial, to me (and I am a Black woman), was just a cute ad of a cute little family. People need to stop being racist. That is all.

Jace June 2, 2013 - 3:33 PM

I have a biracial son (hubby is white) and while I am heartened to see things like this on Tv, it makes me sick to think that is what ppl think of us…and my son.

i also hate that ppl are like, “oh, its 2013, and we are so evolved in matters of race, etc. so why are these racists coming out the woodwork?” the e-thugs that wrote all that mess are the same ones that quietly cross the street when a black person is coming towards them, or clutch their purse tighter, or tell us that “you aren’t like the others”.

the civil rights movement was 50yrs ago, and the only thing that has really changed is that ppl have learned to be more quiet about their racism.

Bronzi June 8, 2013 - 8:35 PM


Candice W. June 2, 2013 - 5:36 PM

I think the commercial was adorable. Do I think the good ol’ advertising folks who made the commercial, knew that they were going to be creating such a buzz over this commercial? Sure, that’s quite possible. At the same time, I’m sure they wanted to reflect what a typical, modern day household is possibly like. I doubt they had the intentions of getting negative publicity for this, but it sure did get people talking about it.

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