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The Cheerios Effect–Annie and Lisa

“The Cheerios Effect” is a phrase coined by scientists to represent the phenomenon of the tendency of floating objects to stick together, demonstrated by two or more cheerios connecting in a bowl of milk. In 2014, General Mills Canada appropriated this phenomenon as the foundation of a socially connective Cheerios cereal campaign. As part of this effort, Cheerios released a series of short videos featuring  stories of how everyday individuals and couples originally connected. This series served as a storytelling platform in which any individual could contribute in order to exhibit the intrinsic vitality of human connection in our lives. This video explores the relationship between Annie and Lisa, lifelong friends who emotionally share the power of a friendship that feels like “home,” despite the different disabilities they have.

discussion

How are Annie and Lisa related in this story, and who initially frames the discussion of their relationship in the video?

How does Annie’s disability come up in the video? How does Annie discuss it? How does Lisa discuss it? How does the camera film Annie differently than Lisa?

How well does this video address the value of connection across difference? Do you think that the idea of storytelling successfully complements the phenomenon of the Cheerios effect?

How do companies implement storytelling in order to appeal to a target audience and promote their products? Can you think of other media in which a company employs personal stories about an otherwise invisible group to relate the audience to its product?