Cheerios’ Interracial Ad Spiked Its Online Branding by 77%

Rotten apples didn't spoil spot

Headshot of Christopher Heine

Ridiculous attacks by fringe crazies can be a big blessing for a politician when he or she is the target of such vitriol—and it appears the same is true in the world of brands.

Per Kontera, the YouTube trolls who spewed ugliness and/or hatred under the comment section of Cheerios' "Just Checking" video—which depicts a mixed-race family—seemingly did the cereal a marketing service. From May 28 (when the spot launched) to June 5, cross-Web brand exposure was up 77 percent compared to the week before, according to Kontera's research.

The San Francisco-based content marketing firm also compared Cheerios to how often consumers were viewing the content of eight other breakfast cereals, among them Rice Krispies, Cap'n Crunch, Wheaties, Special K and Honey Bunches of Oats. Cheerios beat their average content views by 137 percent, Kontera says. 

The tech company came to the findings by analyzing hundreds of millions of daily traditional Web, social Web and mobile content views. 

Meanwhile, Cheerios, a General Mills brand, has chosen to disable comments on YouTube since users were getting out of control with messages about "racial genocide," "troglodytes" and other nonsense. 

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.