(Detroit News) A mom sits at her kitchen table writing something down when her grade schooler saunters up with a big box of Cheerios.
“Mom,” says the girl. “Yes, honey?” mom responds. “Dad told me Cheerios is good for your heart. Is that true?”
Mom glances at the box, noting that it says the whole-grain oats inside are “heart healthy.”
Cut to dad napping on the living room couch. He stirs and starts to sit up, sending a pile of Cheerios on his upper chest (where his heart is) crunchily cascading to cushions and floor.
The message is in line with the company’s long-running Heart Healthy campaign, except this 30-second ad features a black dad, white mom and biracial child and produced enough vitriol on YouTube last week that Cheerios requested the comments section be turned off.
This week, the company is standing by the fictitious family, which reflects a black-white racial mix uncommon in commercials today, especially in ads on TV, at a time when interracial and interethnic couples are on the rise in real life.