This paper examines online comments to an interracial family portrayed in two online commercials for Cheerios. The study focused on an in-depth review of literature of history, symbolic interaction theory, critical race theory and co-creation of value, followed by comparative content analysis of online comments and intercoder reliability test. Four-hundred total comments were analyzed; 100 positive from each commercial and 100 negative from each. The comments were chosen by a filtering method the social media site YouTube has to select and analyze the top and most popular comments from each. After collection, a comparative content analysis of the comments was conducted, classifying the comments in different categories. An intercoder reliability test was then conducted with three volunteers to categorize the comment in the section they best saw fit. The importance of this is to find trends of similarities in the comments posted targeting these interracial commercials. Several themes were common among all of the positive comments and of the negative comments in both videos. Both videos concluded that Supportive and Defensive were the most commonly selected themes among the positive comments and both videos concluded that Racism and Hate were the two most commonly selected themes among the negative comments. Surprisingly after research was conducted, the answers of all three coders were very similar.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Television commercials--Public opinion--Research; Racially mixed families--Public opinion--Research

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Communication and Media Technologies (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Communication (CLA)


Andrea Hickerson

Advisor/Committee Member

Jonathan Schroeder

Advisor/Committee Member

Grant Cos


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at HF6146.T42 A57 2016


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes