Minnesota-based General Mills scored a hit with fans during the much-hyped Super Bowl of advertising.
The Golden Valley food maker's "Gracie" ad for Cheerios cereal ranked No. 7 among the crowded field of high-priced commercials that aired during the NFL title game Sunday night, according to USA Today's Ad Meter. (Budweiser's "Puppy Love was the fan's top choice.)
HuffingtonPost called the Cheerios spot "the most adorable moment of the night." (Watch the 30-second ad below.)
The Cheerios commercial features the same actors who were assembled last year for an ad, one which generated some controversy for spotlighting an interracial family. In May, General Mills shut down the comments section of the ad's YouTube page after a number of racist comments were posted. That prompted a huge swell of support for General Mills and for the fictional family – a white mother, black father and their daughter.
Advertisers have generally trailed other media in spotlighting racial diversity, CBS Money Watch noted.
“We fell in love with this family,” Camille Gibson, vice president of marketing for Cheerios told CBS. “We thought the big game provided an opportunity to tell a story about family love.”
The General Mills blog offered a look at the social media strategy the company launched in support of the ad – both prior to and during the big game.
More than 100 million people were reported to have watched the Super Bowl and all those pricey commercials. The average cost of a 30-second spot this year was about $4 million, or $133,000 per second, the Washington Post reported.
After several years of some risque ads, this year's spots generally were more warm and fuzzy, the New York Times reports.
Many tweeters seemed to think the Cheerios ad hit the right note.
Here's the Cheerios spot: