Cheerios will run its first-ever Super Bowl ad on Sunday, set to air during the first unscheduled time out during the big game. The commercial is making news even before it's broadcast.
In a post on its blog, ATasteofGeneralMills, the company writes, "We’re excited to share the newest commercial for Cheerios," then asks, "Notice something familiar about that family?"
It's the same fictional family that was featured in a Cheerios ad last May, made up of a black dad, white mom and their young daughter, Gracie. The ad grabbed headlines after it sparked ugly comments online, prompting General Mill to disable the comments section on the YouTube video of the commercial. The negative remarks were followed by an outpouring of support. At the time, General Mills said it cast actors who reflect the changing U.S. population.
In the new Super Bowl spot, the father uses Cheerios to illustrate each member of the family and to explain to his daughter that, "Pretty soon, you're going to have a baby brother." Gracie looks dismayed, then smiles, adds another Cheerio to the pile and negotiates for a puppy.
General Mills announced that it will air a behind-the-scenes look at the making of “Gracie” on its blog Friday.
This year, a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl costs around $4 million. The Cheerios ad will be the first Super Bowl spot for General Mills since a 1996 Wheaties commercial with NBA icon Michael Jordan and NFL legends Deion Sanders and Steve Young.