No one is really sure why Buzz the Cheerios bee recently got a makeover by Nelly in Cheerios’ most recent commercial. I first saw the short about a month ago, and not only was I confused, but I was upset that one of the oldest and most familiar mascots in cereal history was essentially being bullied by a famous rapper that he is made to look up to… and enjoying it!
In the commercial, Buzz flies up to Nelly and asks him if he’s ever tried Honey Nut Cheerios, to which the 38-year-old rapper replies in the affirmative. That’s where any discussion about Cheerios comes to an end, within the first six seconds of the 30 second commercial.
From there, Nelly proceeds to nitpick everything about Buzz, reminding me of those bullies from high school. Apparently, Buzz “needs some help.” What’s wrong with him? He’s a household staple and an adorable mascot for the very simple cereal.
First, Nelly rips Buzz’s honey wand from his hand and throws it away (good game of ‘keep away,’ anyone?). Next, Nelly mixes up a cartoon cloud (complete with some ultra cool vinyl scratching sounds) out of which Buzz emerges in a black leather jacket, black high tops with green neon accented soles, and big sunglasses. Ultra, mega cool. Buzz says “wow,” but all we hear is the admiration Buzz has for an idol who is changing him to be cool like him instead of being happy with who he is.
Lastly, Nelly autotunes Buzz’s voice. Autotunes his voice. There is absolutely no point to that except to to provoke a worldwide eye roll.
Finally, Nelly seems pleased with the monster he’s created, and according to him, “Bee’s got swag.” But when Buzz spouts his familiar “bee happy, bee healthy” tagline, Nelly’s smile drops and he responds, “That’s gotta go, too.”
WHAT!? I’m disgusted to think how this commercial is affecting young kids. Beside the fact that most of the commercial had nothing whatsoever to do with Cheerios, the message seemed to be that being yourself is never a good idea. Poor Buzz, we feel for you.
To top it all off, the last thing you see before the clip ends is a bedazzled Cheerios box, like everything is better with diamonds. Not to mention Nelly’s massive shiny watch, front and center.
“It used the word swag,” said one YouTube commenter, “it implied autotune was good, and then implied that [Buzz] should get rid of the ‘bee happy, bee healthy’ slogan. Who the hell thought this was good idea? Who the hell is going to buy cheerios because of this?”
“That's right. Conformity and peer pressure. It's the ‘in’ thing to do,” said another.
What do you think of this commercial, moms? I reported a while back about on a J.C. Penney commercial that moms were claiming supported bullying in school, but I definitely feel this Cheerios ad is far worse. I’d love to hear your opinions!