A still from Cheerio's recent multi-racial spot
We recently told you about a new ad for Cheerios that features a mixed-race family. The father is black, the mom white, and their daughter is a bit of both. The ad doesn't say anything about the family — it focuses firmly on Cheerios' longstanding heart-healthy message, but a lot of people on the internet didn't like it. Some thought General Mills was doing some politically correct pandering. Others just didn't like seeing a mixed-race couple.
It got so bad that General Mills turned off the comments on its YouTube version of the ad, because so many were so hateful.
It turns out that the ad has achieved exactly what General Mills hoped it would. According to data from Ace Metrix, the ad is the No.2 best liked cereal ad of 2013 and the 6th best cereal ad of 50 it has analyzed over the last 12 months. Ace Metrix continuously surveys a large online audience for feedback on ad effectiveness:
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. Ace Metrix says older men generally dislike ads with kids in them, and that African-Americans generally score ads higher than Caucasians:
But perhaps the most persuasive — albeit anecdotal — piece of the evidence were the comments. The ad became "controversial" because it collected a large number of idiotic, prejudiced comments. Among ordinary people — i.e. folks who are not YouTube trolls — only 2 comments of 529 collected by Ace Metrix mentioned the racial aspect of the ad in a negative way.
Everyone else thought the mixed race family was a nice touch. Good work, Saatchi & Saatchi!
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