Another Cheerios Commercial

Most people are probably aware of the interracial family Cheerios commercial, and the controversy people dug up around it.  Their latest commercial is unlikely to cause the same sort of uproar, but I found it kind of upsetting.

It just seems terribly inappropriate.  Cheerios’ usual marketing scheme of touting their cereal as heart healthy has always pulled on the heartstrings a bit.  They like to have a parent and their kids, and basically guilt a consumer into their food. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like to eat Cheerios, and pointing out that it is heart healthy is great.  It just seems underhanded to do it like that.  Their commercials just showing people jogging, and being active seem like a better choice.

Bringing some cute kid’s dead grandmother, and his choked up mom into the mix just seems a bit much.  It is not a huge deal, and I am not terribly offended by it.  However, it has stuck in my craw since I saw it a few days ago.  It is hard for me to explain exactly why it is upsetting to me. 

Let me know your reactions.  How well does it work as advertising?  Are your running out to let a single tear fall gently down your cheek over breakfast?


About Tori

I am a graduate student working on my masters in Women and Gender studies. My masters thesis is on the gender nonconformity and ambiguity in modern film.
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7 Responses to Another Cheerios Commercial

  1. Samantha Bryant says:

    I actually found this site bc I find the commercial upsetting. My boyfriend says it’s the most manipulative commercial he’s ever seen. I don’t care about the biracial one. I was more offended that people complained about it but this one is just mean.

    • Tori says:

      That’s a huge part of it for me! It just seems so terribly manipulative. With any of the ones just about happy families being happy families, and look how Cheerios doesn’t disrupt that, I don’t have a problem. But bringing Nana/Grandmas into it just seems so low.

      • Rori says:

        How low will they go in their next ad?

        “Mom, I wish daddy were still alive”
        Opening HIV positive results while eating a bowl of cheerios.
        Maybe they’ll have a Liberian woman sobbing over a bowl, recounting her family’s torture, gang rape and murder at the hands of soldiers.

        I mean apparently nothing is off limits for the cause of pushing little bits of wheat.

  2. Mary says:

    I don’t find it offensive at all…..I realize they are trying to sell a product and that it could be viewed as manipulation……It didn’t make me run out and buy cherrios…but it did make me think of my mom….. and that’s ok with me…..

  3. Kenyon Pitt says:

    Sooooo, exactly where does the commercial say that Nana is dead? Nana couldn’t be in her condo, in Florida and they live in Ohio and just miss her? Nana might be a mean old lady and Mommy has cut all ties, but is still sad?

  4. askamma says:

    It is part of the drive to pass off packaged food as traditional family food. Appealing to the ancestors who have gone before is devious but all in a days work for advertising.

  5. W. Kemp says:

    Wow… It’s cereal folks! Are you carrying around that much guilt, ego-centrism, and/or paranoid delusions that a simple, “feel good”, back to basics commercial has you this overtly defensive? Cheerios have been around for a long time… Growing up, I had them nearly every day and my kids eat them now too. So yeah, that commercial strikes a nostalgic note. If you feel targeted for manipulation by a cereal commercial, maybe you need to take a step back & evaluate your emotional reaction before attacking a 30 second “hallmark moment” cereal commercial. I thought it was kind of refreshing to see a commercial that didn’t rely on sex, vulgarity, wealth, or elite stature to draw customers. I didn’t think there were any marketing firms in existance any more that could create an ad using a little nostalgia and/or simple tradition instead of pop culture or shock factor. However, if you still can’t see beyond yourself, then there is one very easy way to handle it: change the channel, wait 30 seconds, and return to the original channel to wait thru any remaining commercials until your scheduled program resumes. Don’t let a preschooler eating breakfast get the better of you.

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