General Mills brings back interracial family for Super Bowl spot

Cheerios ad
This frame grab provided by General Mills shows the company's 2014 Super Bowl ad for Cheerios entitled "Gracie." The ad will air during the first unscheduled time-out of the game.
AP Photo/General Mills

General Mills is bringing back an interracial family featured in an ad last year to star in its Cheerios Super Bowl commercial.

The ad featuring the fictional family last summer sparked ugly comments online, which were followed by an outpouring of support for the ad and its characters - a black dad, a white mom and a young daughter.

Cheerios marketing manager Doug Martin said the ad reflects not only the growing diversity of the country but what people have in common.

"We really hope that almost any family can see themselves in the families that we put on TV. And we as a brand just want to reflect what America is today," said Martin. "The more people that we can touch and make feel like we're speaking to them, obviously the better for us."

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John Purdy, who teaches advertising at the University of St. Thomas, thinks the ad succeeds.

"It is designed to get our emotional heart strings a little bit. It's kind of a delicate thing to do to make it effective," said Purdy. "This one, I think, does nice job of it."

In the new spot, the father uses Cheerios to explain to his daughter that soon she'll have a baby brother. In exchange, she negotiates for a puppy. The ad has already drawn over 2 million views on YouTube.