Honey Maid's Awesome Response to Anti-Gay Backlash

By Julissa Catalan

Last week, Honey Maid released a follow-up video to their controversial ad titled “This Is Wholesome,” which initially sparked backlash after its March 10th release.

“This is Wholesome” features diverse families including an interracial family, a child with two fathers, and parents who are covered in tattoos. The last frame of the ad shows the same-sex couple with their children and the tagline “This is Wholesome” written on the screen.

Many felt that the families depicted in the video were the opposite of wholesome, and soon Honey Maid was blasted with hateful comments.

The ad has been viewed more than 5 million times and generated more than 2,000 comments—sparking a debate between supporters and those against the commercial.

Among others, conservative group “One Million Moms” called the campaign an “attempt to normalize sin.” Then added, “This commercial not only promotes homosexuality, but then calls the scene in the advertisement wholesome.”

But in response, the Graham cracker manufacturer released another video on April 3rd, titled “Love.”

The ad opens with the title card saying, “On March 10, 2014, Honey Maid launched ‘This Is Wholesome,’ a commercial that celebrates all families. Some people didn’t agree with our message.”

The next shot is of close-ups of tweets and e-mails with remarks such as “Horrible, NOT ‘WHOLESOME,'” “DO NOT APPROVE!,” and “Disgusting!!”

“So we asked two artists to take the negative comments and turn them into something else.” We then see artists Linsey Burritt and Crystal Grover—who go by the collaborative name INDO—roll up printouts of each hateful comment, then fastening the tubes to one another making an elaborate figure that spells out the word “Love.”

The ad proclaims, “But the best part was all the positive messages we received. Over ten times as many.” Then we see e-mails with quotes like “family is family” and “love the Honey Maid ad” and “this story of a beautiful family” and “most beautiful thing.”

In the closing shot we see that the tubes with positive messages now encase the original paper sculpture. The viewer is told, “Proving that only one thing really matters when it comes to family: LOVE.”

“It’s about recognizing that the American family dynamic and look has changed over the decade,” Gary Osifchin, Senior Marketing Director for Honey Maid, said on Good Morning America. “And our product line has changed in parallel with that changing American family dynamic.”

“We at Honey Maid continue to evolve…so they can be a part of everyday moments of connection in a world with changing, evolving family dynamics,” he added to E! Online.

“I think that the world we live in now where social media plays such a prominent role in our lives, companies feel that they can and often should react to backlash and criticism,” Business Insider deputy editor Julie Zeveloff said. “For Honey Maid, this was a really fantastic move.”

Other brands, like the Coca-Cola Company (No. 38 in the 2013 DiversityInc Top 50) and General Mills (No. 26 in the 2013 DiversityInc Top 50), have aimed their advertising towards diverse families in the last year with their own television commercials.

Cheerios cereal—part of the General Mills family—received so much negative backlash for a television spot that featured a white mother, Black father and biracial daughter, that the site was forced to disable viewer comments. Some of the comments included references to Nazis and racial genocide, while others called the father a “deadbeat” for napping on the couch, while claiming the mother was a “single mother in training.”

Like Honey Maid, Cheerios released a follow up featuring the same interracial family during a Super Bowl ad.

During this years’ Super Bowl, Coca-Cola became the first company to feature a same-sex couple in a Super Bowl ad when “It’s Beautiful” showed a gay couple with their daughter at the roller-skating rink.

Though this advertising trend is not received well by all, it is clear that some major companies are choosing to aim their products to the people who are actually buying them—diverse families.

Latest News

COVID entrepreneur

Explosive New Growth in Small Businesses Due to COVID-19; America’s Police Force is Not Becoming More Diverse Despite BLM Movement; the Best and Worst Performing States in the 2020 Census; and More

Even with incredible nationwide unemployment rates, the creation of new small and diverse businesses has exploded due to COVID-19. Finally some news coming out of our pandemic: The Philadelphia Tribune reports that as bars and restaurants closed and stay-at-home orders were put into place earlier in 2020 to help fight…

Justice for Breonna not served; The essential rule of politics; Teen serves two months in jail for not doing homework; and More

Justice for Breonna not served as grand jury indicted officer who shot her with wanton endangerment — but not murder. “Outrageous and offensive.” Those were  by attorney to the family, Ben Crump to describe the grand jury’s decision in the March 13 fatal police shooting of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor. While…

IBM, EEOC, age

EEOC Unearths Years of Intentional Age Discrimination within IBM

After a long investigation, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has revealed that IBM leaders had directed managers to replace older workers with younger ones. Between 2013 and 2018, nearly 86% of those considered for layoffs within the organization were older employees over the age of 40. The investigation showed…

Breathe March in Globe Park, New York, USA - 12 Sep 2020

Cities under attack from the Justice Department; Louisville bracing for the Breonna Taylor murder charge; Twitter reveals its racist side; and More

Justice department attacks three U.S. cities, declaring them anarchist zones — despite most of the protests that took place in each city being peaceful marches in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. In a move designed to pull federal funding from New York City, Seattle and Portland, OR, the…

ginsburg, supreme, court

The Lasting Legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — Plus the Four Biggest Issues Currently at Stake Following Her Death

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who served on the nation’s highest court for 27 years, passed away Friday, Sept. 18 at the age 87. “As the second woman ever to sit on the highest court in the land, she was a warrior for gender equality — someone who believed…

Abbott Receives CE Mark for Next-Generation Mitraclip Heart Valve Repair Device to Treat Mitral

Originally posted on Abbott.com – CE Mark for MitraClip G4 offers physicians an innovative next-generation system with more options for mitral valve repair using proven clip-based technology – MitraClip is a first-of-its-kind transcatheter mitral valve therapy, now on its fourth generation, improving further on MitraClip’s history as a safe and…

Cox Crews Mobilized to Reconnect Gulf Coast

Originally published on Cox.com Cox has mobilized its employees with support from outside of the Gulf Coast area to begin assessing damage and restoring service outages caused by Hurricane Sally. In times like this, we understand it is important to stay connected and we want our services to help you…