At JoTo PR, we believe some of the most significant campaigns are those that silently demand attention and incite an intense debate among the public.
In a time when having and maintaining a superb image is crucial to your success, companies must first ask themselves, “How do we want to be perceived?” Or “What image do we want to be remembered by?”
Cheerios answered those questions succinctly by releasing an ad campaign that depicts family moments featuring an interracial couple – a first for the company.
The advertisement offers a genuine look into a typical American family today:
Almost immediately, social backlash about the ad was so intense, General Mills requested its YouTube comments be disabled. Despite the negativity, General Mills refuses to be derailed by hate. Company officials say they cast the actors to “reflect an American family” and will continue running the ad as scheduled (1).
Frankly, this is the most intelligent decision General Mills could have made – if the brand were to backtrack at this point, their credibility would be utterly lost.
In 2012, Komen ceased its funding of Planned Parenthood and the backlash was immediate. The foundation was accused of opposing abortions and received negativity from the general public, as well as celebrities. Days later, Komen reinstated its Planned Parenthood funding but the damage was done.
Now a year later, Komen is still reeling from the backlash. Komen recently canceled half of its annual three-day walks for breast cancer due to lack of participation and interest. (2).
Clearly, being short-sighted will you get you nowhere as a company. In essence, Komen defunded Planned Parenthood and the public followed suit by rescinding its support of Komen initiatives.
Cheerios, in a nutshell, shows us the importance of good PR.
On-going PR is something you need to stay visible and to make sure you are presented in the best possible light. Cheerios shines with a winning campaign by standing its ground and displaying an honest illustration of the ever-evolving American population.
Karla Jo Helms
JoTo Founder & CEO
“Despite Social Backlash, Cheerios Stands By TV Ad Featuring Mixed-Race Family.” Bulldogreporter.com. Bulldog Reporter, 06 June 2013. Web. 7 June 2013. bulldogreporter.com/dailydog/article/despite-social-backlash-cheerios-stands-by-tv-ad-featuring-mixed-race-family-cereal.
Morel, Laura, and Jodie Tillman. “Susan G. Komen 3-Day Canceled in Tampa Bay.” Tampabay.com. Tampa Bay Times, 04 June 2013. Web. 07 June 2013. tampabay.com/news/health/susan-g-komen-3-day-canceled-in-tampa-bay-next-year-officials-say/2124695.