Twitter is a tough crowd during any high-profile live TV programming, when snark levels always spike. Cheerios learned that the hard way during the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday when it aired a six-month-old commercial from Saatchi & Saatchi in New York that aimed for heartwarming but came off, to many, as depressing.
The ad shows a mom and her son having breakfast, when the boy pipes up and asks, "Did Nana ever give you Cheerios when you were a little kid?" This seemingly innocent question leads to an exchange that's supposed to be cute, though it leaves Mom practically in tears by the end—and got Twitter fuming.
Check out some of the reactions below. The spot is, of course, super manipulative—but that's hardly out of line with what Cheerios always does in its advertising. The General Mills brand blatantly manufactures emotion, sometimes more deftly than other times. We didn't think this one was actually that bad. (And in fact, a number of people praised the ad on Twitter last night, or at least said it made them teary.) But the difference is, during an event like the Globes, you're much more likely to get abused on Twitter for that kind of manipulation.
Makes you wonder what the brand is planning for its first Super Bowl ad next month.
Cheerios--reanimating dead grandparents for 83 years.— tad friend (@tadfriend) January 13, 2014
Perhaps I'm unfeeling but that mawkish "breakfast w Nana" ad from Cheerios should be taken off the air and flogged #GoldenGlobesAds— Brian Steinberg (@bristei) January 13, 2014
WHY IS THIS CHEERIOS AD ABOUT BREAKFAST WITH DEAD GRANDMOTHERS TRYING TO BRING ME DOWN? #GoldenGlobesAds— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) January 13, 2014
Congratulations to that Cheerios commercial for being the most manipulative and calculated thing I've seen all night. #GoldenGlobes— Matt Pruett (@matthasarms) January 13, 2014
"Let's have a commercial about a grandma dying and discussing Cheerios" "yes that sounds great!" #goldenglobes— Kylie Sparks (@kyliesparks) January 13, 2014
Fuck you Cheerios— Joshua Topolsky (@joshuatopolsky) January 13, 2014