A new ad campaign from Honey Maid is capitalizing on a shocking concept: diversity is good for business.
The series, titled "This Is Wholesome," depicts three real-life families going about their daily lives and being sickeningly adorable. It's beautiful to watch, and an affirming reminder that not all families in commercials have to be nuclear, white and heterosexual. America is changing, ladies and gentlemen, and it's time for our media to reflect that.
Check it out ...
"This Is Wholesome" (30-second combo spot):
"Team of Two" (Latino single-parent family):
"Time Away" (interracial black and white military family):
"Dad & Papa" (same-sex white family):
Why now? The clear precedent for this series is the Cheerios ad — featuring an interracial family — that took the Internet by storm last summer. The "Just Checking" spot elicited some vicious responses from the "normally civil and intelligent" YouTube comments section, but it also sparked a 77% spike in Cheerio's online brand exposure:
"Consumers have responded positively to our new Cheerios ad," said Camille Gibson, the brand's marketing VP. "At Cheerios, we know there are many kinds of families, and we celebrate them all."
The times, they are a-changin'. According to Adweek, the Honey Maid campaign attributes its new commercials to shifting demographics: 20 million single-parent families pepper the U.S. today, while 11.6 million are Hispanic and one in 12 is interracial.
"We recognize change is happening every day, from the way in which a family looks today to how a family interacts to the way it is portrayed in media," said Gary Osifchin, the company’s marketing director. "We at Honey Maid continue to evolve and expand our varieties to provide delicious, wholesome products so they can be a part of everyday moments of connection in a world with changing, evolving family dynamics."
Dropping science. There are larger incentives at play as well. According to a comprehensive recent study from UCLA's Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies, diversity in media generally yields a significantly larger profit than homogeny (gasp!). For instance, TV shows with ethnically diverse casts receive generally higher ratings, while in 2011, movies with relatively high minority onscreen involvement (21-30%) posted over $90 million more in box office receipts than those with lower involvement (less than 10%).
But numbers and business talk aside, these families are simply awesome, and with any luck one of them will adopt me soon. Let's hope more like these continue popping up on TV and computer screens across the country.