General Mills Essay
Cheerios has been a trusted family favorite for many generations. A General Mills brand breakfast cereal. Which was first introduced in 1941. Cheerios commercials have been shown worldwide for many years. Cheerios are whole grain oat making them extremely good for your heart. The cereal pieces good for children being that their made into the shape of an “O”. A recent commercial has generated vituperative comments online. But General Mills says it stands by the ad.
A school age young child runs into the kitchen grabs the box of cheerios from the shelf and puts it on the kitchen table where her mother is seated. The child asks her mother a simple question about cheerios. She wanted to know if cheerios were actually good for your heart. Curiosity, as to a statement her father told her. Once her mother replied yes, she read her daughter a fact off the box insuring her child. Next scene the child has gone to the living room where her father is fast asleep on the couch after a long day of work. Her father is awakening with crunchily cheerios pouring off of his chest just where his heart is. Moments later confused and calls his wife for a few questions. “Love” runs across the screen and the commercial is over. Such sweet intentions but yet so many negative views and comments. Was the world ready for the racism and insecurity this commercial imposed?
Cheerios has broadcasted many commercials involving families for years. But one commercial with an interracial couple sparked so much negativity; the comments had to be disabled on the online site “YouTube” containing the segment. Interracial couples exist all over the world, all different ages. But why was this commercial made into a big controversy, for something that is so present today. This was certainly not the first commercial containing an interracial couple and their biracial child. This ad has proven that interracial couples are still not accepted in some places and by some people. I often wonder “Did cheerios expect the negative feedback?” or “Was this quite shocking to them as well?” But to look deeper into things “Could cheerios be trying to send the world a message?” Perhaps, everyone has overlooked the positive side of it.
This particular commercial ended with the word love. But many viewers have missed the love in this commercial. It seems as if they have switched it around to hate. Love is not just a four letter word describing the way two individuals feel for one another in a relationship. But also the child showed her love for her father by insuring he has a good heart. So which form of love could depict the meaning of the commercial? Are many still stuck in old times back when things were segregated? This is no shock to the African American culture many are aware of those still living in the past. A white woman, a black man and their biracial child “Where’s the wrong in that?” The way I view the commercial is not only that cheerios wants you to know that this cereal lowers cholesterol but they also want you to know that eating cheerios will promote you to have close, loving relationships.
The backlash was not sparked because of the thought of a white woman and a black man being in a relationship. But that a white woman and a black man were in relationship both physically and sexually through the figure of their biracial child. The commercial produces a tame interracial sexual contact and relationship. For instance, the black husband and his white wife are never filmed in the same room together, no touching, kissing, and even addressing each other face to face. Instead the interaction is mainly between the child and her parents gaining a newly found lesson from both parents, and giving her father a gift. The audience is presumed to believe the romantic, sexual contact has already happened. I believe we have yet to grip the troubling racial contact between blacks and whites that first started back within slavery.
Cheerios has agreed to stand by the ad 100%, the comments has been disabled. This is great start on the right foot. The company declined to reply when asked if they would do any other commercials dealing with interracial couples. But General Mills does plan to do many more commercial ads involving families of all races despite the hatred followed by this one. Let the past stay in the past. Never let it determine your future. It’s unfortunate that the internet fools racist individuals that some care about what they have to say ignorant. This ad was successful, heartwarming and it seemed to deliver the message they intended. Cheerios has put up a mirror of reflection on our society today.
Subject: Race and Ethnicity,
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 12 October 2016
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