Latest News: Technology |  Celebrity |  Movies |  Apple |  Cars |  Business |  Sports |  TV Shows |  Geek


Filed under: News | Super Bowl


Cheerios Super Bowl Ad Gracie Analyzed

Feb 3 2014, 7:50am CST | by

1 Updates
Cheerios Super Bowl Ad Gracie Analyzed

YouTube Videos Comments

Full Story

Cheerios Super Bowl Ad Gracie Analyzed

I was going to write about the game. But from the first snap the question became, what game? So it’s on to the commercials.

The Cheerios commercial during Super Bowl XLVIII featured an interracial family: an African-American man, white female, and their daughter.  In case you allowed blood-thinner beverages to play overtime and your brain cells left at halftime, see if your fingers can be configured to click on this: 

What is not so obvious are the subtle, entirely intentional messages embedded therein. There is only so much you can do in 30 seconds, but since perceptions among cultures can vary, I wonder if what I noticed as an African-American male differ from the perceptions of those who are not. Here’s what I saw as it happened:

  • Middle Class-ness: The man has speech pattern of mainstream middle class corporate America – not to be confused with comedian Kevin Hart . (Language warning: see his stand-up  act here .) Nor did you hear ethnically identifiable background music. Would it have been the same if hip-hop/R&B tune The Monster by Eminem (white male) and Rihanna (African-American female) was on blast in the background?  Or why not unmistakably country – some of us like that too. So perhaps a missed messaging opportunity.  Of course, they did the right thing, keeping the music very subtly in the background. It was confined to a few piano passages, identifiable with no particular subset of America.
  • Naming Rights: Akin to the message above, the only one with a name in this spot is the daughter. Gracie, not Shemeka was probably a conscious decision.
  • The Props: Brilliant move by Cheerios to use their product as props for family members. Father pushed out 1 Cheerio at a time representing each parent. The subtle message is: If you love family, you love Cheerios. It was artistic, because daughter Gracie had the ah-ha moment timed perfectly. After the cautious father Cheerio’d daddy and mommy, she cheerfully (sorry) pushed out one for herself.
  • The Frown:  The drama was the big announcement: A baby brother is in the oven. A frown instantly formed on Gracie’s brow. No Anthony Johnson unibrow thoughts came to mind. Only that she was troubled by inevitability that affection was going to be shared, perhaps to her detriment.
  • The Epiphany:  After the baby brother announcement, the subtle pregnant pause. Gracie’s actor qualities rise to impressive levels to tug at your heart at this point.  The frown-pause moment if followed by the epiphany, “and a dog”. Translated: “If he’s sweet talking me like this, he must want my approval. That must mean I have some bargaining power – (and what do I have to lose, the little guy his coming anyway). I can use this event to broker and barter a deal. If I have to put up with a babbling infant that cuts into my time and resources, I can now use my unprecedented leverage get what I want in return.”
  • The Subtly Screaming Message:  If you saw it differently, I would like to know. So would the ad companies and the Cheerios folks, because they were clearly sending a message beyond the brand. Or shall I say beyond the edibles. They sent the message that our brand includes not only a food product but people inclusiveness without borders along the ethnic barriers of the past.  It was as if they were saying: “We know our first interracial commercial brought some negativity. But we’ll take the economic risk that those who object will be lost purchasers.  And just so you know we mean it, we’ll pay $4 million for 30 seconds to reaffirm our commitment.”

No other Super Bowl commercial did that. So I will end now – and go buy some Cheerios.


iPad Air Giveaway. Win a free iPad Air.

You Might Also Like


Sponsored Update


More From the Web

Shopping Deals


<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.




blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Light Flow App Review
Light Flow App Review
The Light flow app is particularly useful for those users who find it difficult to manage and/or respond to their notifications. Light flow ideally allows you to take full control of the notifications on your Smartphone. The app allows you to set different sound patterns on mobile vibration in order to alert you for your notifications.
VSCO Cam App Review
VSCO Cam App Review
The VSCO cam is a highly productive and useful app. It is regarded as one of the smartest and easy to use photo editing apps. It gives its user the optimal way of shooting, editing, adjusting, and then sharing their enhanced photographs with their friends and family. The customers rate this app quite high and it ideally stands among the top 5 photo editing apps in the market today.
Chrissy Teigen Stuns on Red Carpet and has TV Breakdown on Twitter
Chrissy Teigen Stuns on Red Carpet and has TV Breakdown on Twitter
Model Chrissy Teigen attended the DuJour Magazine and NYY Steak event on July 28 in New York City.
5.5-inch iPhone 6 is a Go Thanks to the Cargo Pants Fashion Trend
5.5-inch iPhone 6 is a Go Thanks to the Cargo Pants Fashion Trend
I am a big fan of the current iPhone size, but thanks to the fact that Cargo Pants are back in fashion I will actually get big iPhone 6.

About the Geek Mind

The “geek mind” is concerned with more than just the latest iPhone rumors, or which company will win the gaming console wars. I4U is concerned with more than just the latest photo shoot or other celebrity gossip.

The “geek mind” is concerned with life, in all its different forms and facets. The geek mind wants to know about societal and financial issues, both abroad and at home. If a Fortune 500 decides to raise their minimum wage, or any high priority news, the geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants to know the top teams in the National Football League, or who’s likely to win the NBA Finals this coming year. The geek mind wants to know who the hottest new models are, or whether the newest blockbuster movie is worth seeing. The geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants—needs—knowledge.

Read more about The Geek Mind.