General Mills gets in big game with first-ever Cheerios Super Bowl ad


General Mills is bringing a different sort of cheer to the Super Bowl next year.

The Pioneer Press said the Golden Valley-based foodmaker is planning its first-ever Super Bowl advertisement for its iconic Cheerios cereal brand.

"The opportunity to be on the big game, in something with that type of scale and number of households that watch it, was very exciting to everyone working on the Cheerios brand," Camille Gibson, vice president of marketing for Big G cereals, told the Taste of General Mills corporate blog.

The Super Bowl ad will be the first for General Mills since a 1996 big game spot for Wheaties, which featured NBA icon Michael Jordan, and NFL legends Deion Sanders and Steve Young.

Gibson said historically "emotional storytelling that involves families and children, and connections and relationship" is what's worked best for Cheerios spots in the past, and the Super Bowl ad will be no different.

"We really ended up with a very simple project brief that just talked about creating a beautiful story about family love," Gibson said.

She told the General Mills corporate blog that it only made sense to do a family-oriented spot because the Super Bowl is "the biggest event where families comes together and watch this program."

The Star Tribune said the ad comes at a time of weak U.S. cereal sales. However, the ad could give the Cheerios brand — if not cereal sales as a whole — a boost, a stock analyst with Edward Jones told the paper.

General Mills was in the national spotlight this summer following a barrage of hateful comments over a Cheerios ad that featured an interracial family. As a result, the comments section on the corporation's YouTube page was disabled.

The national TV spot featured a white mother, black father and their interracial child.

General Mills weathered the criticism and refused to pull the ad.

"Consumers have responded positively to our new Cheerios ad. At Cheerios, we know there are many kinds of families and we celebrate them all," Gibson told ABC News in a statement.

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