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Cheerios: Racist Or Revolutionary?

2 min, 22 sec read
12:44 PM | 22 July 2013

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It is true that as generations passed, people have grown to become more open-minded and are now more able to accept one another regardless of race and religion. Every race has their own unique cultures and traditions, these are the things that make the world more interesting. How boring would it be if we were to travel from one place to another, only to find that our holiday destination is more or less like our home?

Although there are many people who have gotten rid of the word ‘racism’ from their dictionaries, there are still others out there who cannot accept that there is nothing wrong with having different skin colours. A recent Cheerios advert by Saatchi and Saatchi, New York sparked many controversial comments online amongst some people who are still unable to appreciate and celebrate the existence of different races in society. The advert received so many negative comments online that they had to disable the comment feature for the video on Youtube.

I, on the other hand, think that this advert is brilliant. Who could possibly resist the cuteness of a little girl with a good intention for her father? Props to Cheerios for featuring an interracial family in advertising and the way they handled the negativity around the advert. Instead of taking the advert down, Cheerios explained to the public that they are trying to portray a modern American society, where interracial marriages are common. The controversy became a buzz for Cheerios, and in the end, it generated more support than hatred for the advert.

The Fine Brothers have recently released a video on Youtube showing children’s reactions to this advert. It is always refreshing to hear what children has to say about a topic, especially on the ones where people tend to avoid. It is even better to know that these children cannot find why people are so negative about the advert. They are fine with the whole idea of featuring an interracial family in an advert, which goes to show that society is becoming less bothered about the whole notion of racism and starting to accept that if you take away our skin colour, we are all the same human beings.

Yes, we reuse some old adverts, and often take inspiration from them. Essentially, however, advertising has to move forward (just like any other industry). As much as we try to listen to the consumers, we have to remind ourselves that advertising too can shape the way society thinks as well. It will be very interesting to see what kind of things brands will come up with next following this Cheerios advert – whether they would follow suit or play it safe by sticking to the status quo.


This article was written by futurerising contributor, Noviana Mona Chandra. Novi is currently studying advertising at Bournemouth University.

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