Quotable Quote of the Month

What does it take for Republicans to take off the flag pin and say, 'I am just too embarrassed to be on this team'?".- Bill Maher

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Cheerios Ad Featuring An Interracial Family Generates Appreciation and Controversy

From l-r: Grace Colbert, Whitney Avalon, and Charles Malik Whitfield
A recent Cheerios commercial featuring a bi-racial family has elicited strong reactions, both pro and con. In the commercial (which you can watch below), a child (Grace Colbert) asks her mother (Whitney Avalon) if it's true that Cheerios is good for the heart. After her mother confirms it is, the child does her part to ensure her father (Charles Malik Whitfield) has a healthy heart. In addition to being thoroughly pleased to see an interracial family being portrayed in an ad, I also thought the commercial was brilliant in its simplicity.

Most of the reactions to the commercial have been positive, with people echoing thoughts similar to mine. However, the ad has predictably brought out the bigotry in some people. According to an article on the website Adweek, the comments section of the You Tube clip posted by Cheerios was littered with references to Nazis (wtf?!) and racial genocide (again, wtf?!). The backlash has caused Cheerios to disable the comments on the clip. On Cheerios' Facebook page, commenters stated they found the ad "disgusting" and that it made them "want to vomit". Although Cheerios has closed the comments section on the clip they posted, you can still "like" or "dislike" it. If a count of "likes" and "dislikes" is any indication, love is trouncing hate. As of this writing, the You Tube clip posted by Cheerios had 19,302 likes as opposed to only 1,323 dislikes.

The Cheerios' ad is the latest in a developing trend in which interracial relationships are being portrayed in advertising. Although the Cheerios' spot is obviously not the first U.S. commercial to feature an interracial couple,  it's the first one I can recall which features a black-white interracial couple AND their child. In addition to the links below which feature interracial couples in commercials, I've also noticed in-store ads at my local Target which reflect this change in society.

Apple iPhone

Bank of America ad touting cash back deals

Philadelphia Cream Cheese

The Cheerios commercial and others like it are reflecting the growing trend of interracial marriages in the U.S. With the rise in interracial marriages, it makes sense for companies to create ads which represent this expanding demographic. Sorry bigots, get used to it!

There was a time when seeing minorities on TV was practically an event. I've heard stories of how black people would alert their neighbors/relatives and huddle around the TV when someone like the Supremes would appear on The Ed Sullivan Show. Now, it's not a huge deal. I look forward to the day when interracial couples in advertising becomes just as commonplace.

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