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This is the ad depicting a mixed race couple with a perfectly adorable child, that apparently got on some trolls' nerves. So much so that Cheerios had to disable the comments on its youtube page.
By the way, interracial marriage in the states wasn't made "legal" until 1967, which is insane to even write but there you go.
What's interesting to me from an advertising standpoint is just how much this exposes about our own profession. People who don't work in advertising are most likely unaware of it even if they're being influenced by it. If you work in advertising in America, then you've most likely been in seriously retrograde conversations with clients concerning "diversity" when casting a spot.
You see, a lot of clients view potential cast members in their spot not by what is best and appropriate for the spot in terms of acting and concept, but rather by the number of boxes they can tick off on their color wheel.
I have heard insanely absurd comments by clients when it comes to this stuff. For instance: "We can't cast an Indian, he needs to be black," "He's not black enough," "He's too black," and "Can we get an Asian in the mix," and "This does not meet our standards of diversity." These comments by the way, have come from clients in the financial service industry, automobile clients, lottery clients and more.
These are the kinds of conversations one hears in advertising and keeps well hidden because they are so disgusting they make us want to quit advertising. Whether its picking and choosing from the color wheel or keeping everything alabaster, these client-mandated "standards," are disturbing.
So I have to give it up for the Cheerios client for being so modern. And by "modern," I mean "completely normal." Again, I say Cheerios client because whatever the agency says, they had no say so in it. Clients have been known approve the smallest piece of wardrobe for fuck's sake. So good on ya Cheerios for being cool.
But if you take the hysterical non-issue out of the equation, you're left with a Cheerios spot with better casting than usual, a nice use of steady cam, and a touching moment with the dad waking up to Cheerios on his heart. In other words, you're left with a better than predictable treacly Cheerios spot in a long line of treacly Cheerios spots.
Put it another way-- at the time of writing this, it barely has 250K views. But considering some spots on Cheerios youtube page are topping out at thirteen thousand, at least people tuned in to this one.
And hopefully the majority of people tuned in for the right reasons.
Agency: Saatchi NY