Cheerios is bringing back the interracial family that last year touched off an internet firestorm of bigoted comments. This time, the trio is starring in a commercial for the Super Bowl.
The ad, titled “Gracie,” features a black father and white mother telling their little girl, Gracie, that she’s about to get a new baby brother, using Cheerios to represent the members of the family.
After a pause, Gracie adds another Cheerio to the bunch: “And a puppy.” The father agrees, much to his wife’s consternation.
“Cheerios is about families and love and connections — and breakfast,” Camille Gibson, vice president of marketing for Big G cereals, said in a statement announcing the commercial.
“Our new Cheerios ad celebrates one of those special moments with a family that America fell in love with. The brand is at its best when it reveals moving insights about what connects us to each other, especially as families, and often through the lens of a child. The ad quietly celebrates the emotional sharing and simple joys we find when spending just a few simple moments together everyday.”
The mixed race family first appeared in an ad titled “Just Checking” in May 2013. The reaction on YouTube contained so many racist and hateful remarks that General Mills, the company that makes Cheerios, had to close the comments section. But the commercial continued to air in its normally scheduled television run.
“Gracie” had just over 13,000 views on YouTube at the time of this post, and comments largely praised Cheerios. The top comment read, “Never thought i would see the day that cheerios has to take a stand.. and stand they did.”
Google, which owns YouTube, began enacting policy changes in November that were aimed at curbing anonymous, inflammatory comments, including moderation tools and a controversial requirement for users to log in with or sign up for Google + before being allowed to comment.
“Gracie” is the first Super Bowl commercial for Cheerios, and only the second General Mills brand ever featured in an ad during the broadcast — the first was for Wheaties in 1996.
Watch “Gracie” above and “Just Checking” here: