Wednesday, June 5

Cheerios Reflects Pop Culture??

They say that advertising is a reflection of pop culture.  They also say that social media is a voice of pop culture.  In the case of Cheerios, that's a good and a bad thing.

The iconic American brand Cheerios recently launched what some might say is a ground-breaking television campaign featuring what I would like to call a "polyethnic" family.  My term, not theirs.  A family that contains a mix of ethnicities.

Some say the advertising is ground breaking, while I would argue it's merely a reflection of pop culture.  In the next census, the American population will collectively be about 40% of what we once called "minorities."  The "traditional" American family of a first time married Caucasian mom married to a first time married Caucasian dad with their own children is diminishing to near single-digit percentages.  We've gone polyethnic.  My term, not theirs.

And then comes social media.  Evidently, the comments about the spot have been unrelenting.  And many not so positive, sadly.  Fortunately the brand stands behind its message, thankfully.  There's NO reason why it shouldn't.  But if the social media reaction is indicative of the public's voice, then I personally have a real problem.

I really thought we'd moved past this as a culture.  If that's not the case, then I guess Cheerios' move is indeed far more brave then I ever thought.  While I applaud that, it makes me a bit sad.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
- President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
- Author, The Experience Effect series
- Professor, NYU
- Contributor, Entrepreneur

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