When ‘Controversial’ Goes Terribly Right

About a month ago, Cheerios released an ad featuring an interracial couple and opponents of biracial relationships flocked to YouTube, expressing their distaste in the comments section. General Mills asked to disable comments on the YouTube video and the story became national news.

The Cheerios Spot:

Aside from the select few who voiced their disapproval in the YouTube comments section, viewers were more than accepting of the ad and Cheerios’ message. This spot even inspired consumer loyalty as fans stood up for and praised the brand’s decision to stand behind its commercial.

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Now here’s where Cheerios’ video advertisement really paid off. The commercial generated thousands of conversations and interactions. It even prompted a few fans to create a parody, which after being uploaded two weeks ago, has amassed over 1.1 million views on YouTube (only 2.5 million less than the actual commercial received).

The parody:

Because Cheerios fostered customer loyalty, not only did the original spot go viral, but a fan’s response also reached over a million viewers. Obviously, developing brand loyalty can pay off big-time.

Cheerios is using social media, online video marketing, and other outlets to engage in conversations with customers. By consistently delivering a quality product, the brand has established a large fan base on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others social sites.

The ideal customer would defend a brand even after controversy—Cheerios has successfully developed these ideal customers with its product and marketing strategies. More often than not, controversies shed a negative light on a company. Luckily for Cheerios, this ‘controversy’ only strengthened consumer loyalty and improved customer satisfaction all-around.

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