The new images of Caitlyn Jenner on the cover of Vanity Fair have sent the Internet ablaze. Everything from your grandma’s opinion to a (funny) superimposed meme of Ray J. snuggling up behind Caitlyn, to side-by-side pics of Caitlyn and Bruce on Bruce’s famous 1977 Wheaties box is floating around.
But Wheaties, a nationally known brand, has received much backlash over their response to the Caitlyn Jenner pics. After the images of Caitlyn had hit the net, a rep for General Mills, the company that owns Wheaties stated: “Bruce Jenner continues to be a respected member of Team Wheaties.”
The guys and gals at Wheaties must never have read the media reference guide for transgender issues.
Many transgender people are able to obtain a legal name change from a court. However, some transgender people cannot afford a legal name change or are not yet old enough to change their name legally. They should be afforded the same respect for their chosen name as anyone else who lives by a name other than their birth name (e.g., celebrities).
The fact that the company pretty much refused to recognize Jenner’s identity didn’t sit well with many people.
Is General Mills missing out on a golden opportunity to reinvent the Wheaties brand for a new generation that is more accepting of gender and sexuality? Shawn Prez, a well-known figure in the music industry, believes so. As the Founder of Power Moves Inc., Shawn Prez has worked with a variety of brands, including the NBA, DKNY, Ciroc, McDonalds, BET, and others. He decided to break down a plan for Wheaties to bring itself into the 21st century.
Shawn Prez decided to break down a plan for Wheaties to bring itself into the 21st century.
|Shawn Prez, CEO of Power Moves Inc, the nation’s premier street marketer, and long-time known as P-Diddy’s “Ambassador to the Streets” as CEO of Power Moves Inc.|
[W]hile our world is changing and it’s been awhile since Jenner was recognized as an athlete, Caitlyn is still the athlete we once knew. No matter her gender, Jenner remains the athlete that was famous for winning Olympic gold; the same athlete that once graced the front of the Wheaties box.
But she is now famous for so much more. Her personal decisions have not impacted her past as an Olympian, and with that in mind, General Mills would be smart to stand by its slogan as “The Breakfast of Champions,” because Caitlyn is now a champion in more ways than one.
From a marketing standpoint, there is a huge benefit to Wheaties if they should choose to put Caitlyn on the box. Wheaties is poised to appeal to a new millennial audience, one that is more accepting than the generations that came before them, and stands to gain quite a bit in terms of corporate responsibility by acknowledging that as one of very few spokespeople for the brand, Jenner’s personal choices in her appearance don’t take away from her past accomplishments.
General Mills could decline because it has been so long since Jenner has been recognized by the public for accomplishments as an athlete. However, to take advantage of the buzz, General Mills could feature Jenner in a now and then box. The Wheaties brand has brought back athletes before, celebrating its 75th anniversary by featuring past champions on boxes. If the brand were to do something similar again, it would be making a huge mistake by not including Caitlyn.
Wheaties features athletic champions on its boxes to depict a healthy lifestyle, one that consumers buying the product can aspire to. It may be time to expand those recognized on the box to include athletes that don’t fit the stereotypical mold, and let consumers admire champions that are known for more than their athletic achievements.