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Posts Tagged ‘Cheerios’

14 PR and Social Media Winners from Super Bowl XLVIII

superbowl2That was a boring Super Bowl in every way. Not only was the game itself a blowout, but most of the ads were lackluster and no brand recreated Oreo’s breakout success on social.

Still, a few companies and personalities did manage some clever nuggets, which we will now review.

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STUDY: Doritos, M&M’s and More Score Perception Bumps with Super Bowl Previews

You may have heard that there’s a sporting event coming up this Sunday and that every brand in the world wants to make the most of it.

Everyone in the PR/marketing/advertising world wondered whether this year’s decision to allow the public to watch full ads before the game would help the brands that participated, and a new survey from our friends at YouGov confirms that it did, indeed.

Doritos is the top “improver” in all three of the study’s categories: word-of-mouth, online buzz and, most importantly, purchase consideration. While YouGov notes that Doritos included kids and animals in three of its whopping five ”Crash the Super Bowl” ads, researchers credit this brilliant spot for the bounce:

OK, that was pretty good. More winners after the jump:

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‘Manipulative’ Cheerios Ad Aired During Golden Globes Sparks Twitter Backlash

The Golden Globes‘ purpose is to celebrate artists who succeed in making audiences feel something. During one of the awards show’s commercial breaks, Cheerios, with its “Nana” ad, also tried to make people feel things; but unless those things were intended to be anger, disgust and disillusionment, the spot failed. Miserably.

Cheerios commercials have been subtly pulling at heartstrings quite deftly for a long time, and have even been praised for their progressive presentations of modern families. But this time, it seems, the attempt to awaken nostalgia, love, and a sense of family, awakened viewers’ bullshit meters and gag reflexes instead.

Interestingly, the ad is six months old, so why the outrage now? Maybe it was the context — people were in a humorous, celebratory mood while watching the Golden Globes, and they didn’t want to be brought down? Or perhaps it was as simple as the huge viewership — so many people saw (and were annoyed by) the ad at the same time that what might otherwise have been a trickle effect of here-and-there tweets became a tidal wave.

But whatever the reason, people really, really hated it. We mean really. Here’s just a modest sampling of some of the tweets lobbed angrily in the ad’s direction: Read more

Cheerios Anti-GMO Move: PR Win, Marketing Stunt, or Both?

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Lots of people really don’t like the concept of genetically modified organisms in their food; just check out what happened to Cheerios when they tried to let Facebook fans get creative back in 2012.

The people who hated on General Mills for GMOs a year ago were probably glad to hear the news that the company will no longer include any “genetically engineered ingredients” in its primary product, plain old Cheerios. In the words of The Motley Fool, GM “[said] no to Monsanto” in the interest of corporate reputation and sales.

Seems like a case of social media outrage leading to positive change, right?

Not so fast.

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Children’s Response to Interracial Cheerios Commercial Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity

Last month we discussed the major buzz generated by Cheerios‘ “Just Checking” commercial, which featured an interracial family. Somehow, in 2013, this sweet, simple ad garnered enough inflammatory responses on YouTube for the site to shut down the comments section.

While some adults were losing their cool over the “controversial” portrayal of what could easily be the family next door, many children, it seems, were having an all-together different reaction to the same ad.

The below video, part of a Fine Bros. series that has kids, teens, and elderly people react to viral videos, news stories, or trends, features children reacting to the commercial. After giving their take on the spot (hint: not one mentions an interracial couple), they are told that the video they just watched really, really upset some people, a fact that totally flabbergasts them.

The kids are then told why the ad was controversial, and their reactions are priceless. Read more

Cheerios Ad Featuring Interracial Couple Generates Major Buzz. In 2013.

The definition of the “All-American family” has evolved (and is still evolving) into a much more inclusive, realistic concept than it was in the days of the Cleavers. Many of today’s movies and television shows reflect that evolution by featuring all sorts of families in their storylines, including interracial, single-parent, and same-sex partner families. The sad truth, however, is that advertising is often behind this curve, as brands seem afraid to be seen as taking a controversial stand or making a political statement. This lag time was made evident once again when a recent Cheerios spot featuring an interracial family garnered more attention than seems plausible in this day and age.

In 2013 America, a country led by a president who is himself a product of an interracial marriage, few people would be surprised to see an interracial couple walking down the street or featured in a Hollywood film. But such couples appear so infrequently in advertising that the below Cheerios spot, featuring an average family going about their business on an average morning, generated enough buzz to appear on the front page of Reddit last week, an honor usually reserved for the most shocking of stories.

The Youtube video has been viewed over 1.5 million times, and the comments section got so out of control that Cheerios disabled it. Camille Gibson, the brand’s vice president of marketing, said in a statement: “Consumers have responded positively to our new Cheerios ad. At Cheerios, we know there are many kinds of families, and we celebrate them all.” And on Monday’s Today show, she added: “The [YouTube] comments that were made were, in our view, not family friendly. And that was really the trigger for us to pull them off. … Ultimately we were trying to portray an American family. And there are lots of multicultural families in America today.”

We’re glad to see Cheerios embracing the situation that so many brands shy away from, but wonder how much longer it will be before seeing the diversity of our country represented in advertising will no longer be shocking, but commonplace, and advertisers will no longer have to justify their failure to remain safely within antiquated and narrow-minded social boundaries .

Could the Continuing Food Label PR Wars Lead to Healthier Products?

When we hear the words “deceptive marketing”, we generally think of campaigns that promote the blatantly false or grossly exaggerated “benefits” of a product (i.e. the butt-sculpting superpower of Sketchers Shape Ups or the death-cheating health claims of POM juice). In cases like these, the offending parties are held accountable by the FTC for intentionally misleading consumers. The public doesn’t like being lied to, and we rely on governing bodies and uniform regulations to protect us.

But what about the marketing we encounter every time we visit a grocery store? In our increasingly health-conscious society, more and more people are checking labels to make sure they are feeding their families the most nutritious, least harmful foods possible. But what many don’t realize is that labels reading “all natural” or “farm fresh” don’t necessarily mean what people think they mean; in fact, due to a lack of regulation, many such buzz words mean virtually nothing at all.

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PR Fail: Cheerios GMO Backlash Goes Social

Cheerios Facebook Cheerios recently tried to make the most of social media as a PR tool by doing what everyone else was already doing: designing Facebook apps to encourage its hundreds of thousands of fans to interact with the brand.

Unfortunately, that plan blew up in the face of parent company General Mills. Cheerios attempted to gain the invisible, invaluable thing we call “brand loyalty” by presenting fans with an app that allowed them to write about “what Cheerios means to me” in the cereal’s trademark font. But the brand’s social team quickly discovered that many Facebook users don’t approve of General Mills’s relationship with genetically modified foods—or its political advocacy on the subject.

The activists’ quick storming of the forum forced Cheerios to kill the app after just one day. Click through for the backstory.

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Party Affiliation Affects Brand Preference (Ugh)

Today in Almost Certainly Meaningless News: Many Americans consider their political affiliations to be a private matter and prefer not to discuss related issues at family gatherings in order to avoid fistfights; most would almost certainly insist that party affiliation has nothing to do with the products they buy.

But a recent survey by the respectable YouGov Brand Index indicates that political leanings and brand preference are at least somehow related:

The top ten most favored brands for:

Democrats Republicans Independents
Google Fox News Amazon
Amazon History Channel Craftsman
Cheerios Craftsman History Channel
Clorox Chick-fil-A Discovery Channel
Craftsman Johnson & Johnson Google
Dawn Lowe’s Clorox
M&M’s Cheerios Lowe’s
Levi’s Clorox Johnson & Johnson
PBS FOX Cheerios
Sony Discovery Channel M&M’s

Some of these “revelations” are so obvious as to be annoying: Lots of registered Republicans watch Fox News, and lots of registered Democrats listen to NPR. Next you’ll tell us that most registered Republicans prefer Mitt Romney to Barack Obama!

Most of the list is just confusing.

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