Skip to main content

General Mills exec: Cheerios commercials reflect the modern American family

  • Author:
  • Updated:

For a Mother's Day feature, CBS Sunday Morning broadcast a story about how American families are changing and used vintage advertising campaigns by Cheerios to demonstrate the evolution.

The story again reviewed two Cheerios commercials that got plenty of attention for featuring a family where "...the mother is white, the father is African-American, and the little girl . . . well, she's just adorable." But Mark Addicks, chief marketing officer for General Mills, was interviewed for the story, said that despite the structural changes, what binds families together remains unchanged, and he said the Cheerios commercials, then and now, reflect that.

"What has stayed the same are the traditional values and desires to bring a family together, to nurture kids, to make them develop and be everything they can be," Addicks said.

CBS pointed out the sweeping demographic changes that have reshaped the composition of the family unit. "In 1938 General Mills commissioned Norman Rockwell to paint scenes from American family life. But households today look less and less like those images from the last century," the story noted. More than 15 percent of new marriages are interracial or interethnic. One-parent homes are on the rise, and the number of same-sex couples with children is the highest ever recorded.

Last month, the Business Journal reported that General Mills won an award from the North Central Minority Supplier Development Council, an organization that connects large companies with minority-owned suppliers in the Midwest. At a luncheon awards ceremony, General Mills CEO Ken Powell told the crowd, made up of many minority business owners, that the company was proud of the Cheerios commercial.

"Doing the right thing ended up being the right thing for the brand," Powell said, noting that 90 percent of the response to the commercial was supportive.

Next Up

walz flanagan lorie shaull flickr

Gov. proposes 'Walz Checks' for most Minnesotans

The governor wants to use $700 million of the state's surplus to fund the payments.

Hutch crash booking photo

Walz, Flanagan call on Hennepin Co. sheriff to resign

"I would say that it is time for him to resign," the Lt. Gov. said.

line 3 enbridge portage lake hubbard county mn tony webster flickr

Months after missing deadline, Enbridge says Line 3 aquifer breach is fixed

The company told Bring Me The News it "successfully stopped the flow of groundwater" at the site.

canada bodies found

Baby, teenager among 4 found dead along MN, Canada border

Authorities believe all four froze to death.

unsplash roller rink skates CROP

Former roller rink, tennis courts will become new sports hub

The Wooddale Fun Zone has been closed since spring of 2020.

hibachi daruma

Popular hibachi food truck opens second Twin Cities restaurant

The much-anticipated Daruma opens for takeout Thursday evening.

20211128_Vikings_49ers_REG12_0144 (1)

What changes are coming to the Vikings' offensive line?

Once again, Minnesota has work to do to figure out its interior spots

Kris Ehresmann

One of Minnesota's key COVID-19 leaders is retiring

Kris Ehresmann has given more than 30 years of her life to public health in Minnesota.

summit beach park orono

Plan to develop Orono park on hold after Daytons object

The Dayton family donated the land to the city for the park in the 1970s.

covid nurse doctor hospital wikimedia commons

Child from Twin Cities, school staff member die from COVID

Both deaths were reported by the Minnesota Department of Health Thursday.


3 clippers will deliver snow to Minnesota through Tuesday

Clippers move through Friday night, Saturday night and again Monday.