Brands on YouTube: Cheerios

Cheerios’ official YouTube channel was created on December 27, 2005, which makes it an early adopter on the platform. As of the writing of this post, however, the channel has yet to fully evolve with the times, as the channel isn’t verified, the overall design is rather basic, and its 16 videos are mostly just 30 second TV ads (plus, something seems odd about their list of “subscriptions”).

And yet, when one of those ads is as authentic and engaging as the one we’ve chosen to highlight today, there is hope for a brighter future for Cheerios on YouTube.

Paid Media Example: Just Checking

(Note: The original ad has been removed. The above video is a re-upload.)

Cheerios got a lot of press for this spot, called “Just Checking,” where the daughter of mixed race parents pours a box of cheerios on her dad’s heart. Some people thought it was controversial, sadly, while many more thought it was admirable and a positive sign of modern America. The 30 second spot translated well on YouTube, and, even though they disabled the comments, the video generated over 73,000 likes, which is a simply a TON of likes for a video – let alone a cereal commercial.

By putting the 30 second spot on YouTube, traction surrounding the underrepresentation of bi-racial families picked up, and the video eventually went viral, with almost 5 million views as of today.


Earned Media Example: Kids React to Controversial Cheerios Commercial

While comments may have been disabled on the official video, fans on YouTube kept the discussion going anyways. And, this “Kids React” response video is just one great example. It is part of a well established series from heavy hitting YouTubers TheFineBros. Part of the beauty of the Kids React series is that they are always timely and culturally relevant, and the kids’ reactions to this particular “controversy” give us hope about the future.

In addition to the official commercial garnering press, this reaction video also picked up some traction on its own, being written about in The Huffington Post, Gawker, ABC News and Business Insider, just to name a few.

The video has over 6.6 million views, more than doubling the impact of the original video. This video also garnered over 123,000 likes.


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