FIRST PERSON

It’s About Time We Stop Praising Companies For Being Gay-Inclusive And Just Expect It

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 4.30.31 PMMajor corporations seem more interested in advertising images of their target demographic than their actual products these days, which means we’re bound to see (and praise!) same-sex couples doing more than just driving Chevrolet cars, reading Amazon Kindles and sitting on Crate & Barrel couches in the coming years.

This week: multiracial and same-sex parents eat Honey Maid graham crackers in a new advertisement circulating the web.

Honey Maid is the latest company on the “diversity bandwagon,” broadly buying ad slots across multiple TV networks to show their 30-second spot featuring gay and multiracial consumers who like eating graham crackers.

Call me cynical, but I’m ready for the day when diverse families just become the norm in advertising without the ensuing media circus carefully designed to spike sales.

From an article from USA Today, praising the new ad:

In one 30-second Honey Maid ad, viewers will see everything from a same-sex couple bottle-feeding their son to an interracial couple and their three kids holding hands. The ad also features a Hispanic mother and an African-American father with their three mixed-race children. And there’s even a father covered in body tattoos. This is not some shockvertisement for Benetton. It’s an ad for one of America’s oldest and most familiar brands. The people in it are not actors, but real families. The message of the ad: These are wholesome families enjoying wholesome snacks.

“Shockvertisement for Benetton”?? A Hispanic mother and African-American father, a “father covered in body tattoos” and a gay couple is even remotely considered “shockvertisement”?

The new ads are pushing Honey Maid’s new “ThisIsWholesome” campaign on Twitter. The campaign has received generally favorable reviews and — don’t get me wrong, I think the sentiment is beautiful — a lot of pomp and circumstance.

If you ask me, an ad like this would have been awesome two years ago; pioneering ten years ago. But are we supposed to hand out awards and lay down praise for every future company that decides to get with the program? This ad would be impressive if it read more ‘Look at our graham crackers in the hands of all these great people’ instead of ‘Look at all these incredibly different and shocking people doing the same things you love to do. Aren’t we amazing and incredibly brave for hiring them?’

Great job, Honey Maid. Call me when multiracial, “alternative,” and same-sex couples appear in your advertisements without the ridiculous assertion that it’s some kind of brave marketing strategy.