Honey Maid endorses homosexuality

By Matt Gillis

The success of a company’s advertising campaign depends on its ability to stand out against the clutter of its competitors. Traditionally, companies use attention-grabbing themes like sex and beauty to garner added publicity. More recently, advertisers have begun incorporating contemporary, controversial topics like sexuality to create media buzz for their clients.

Honey Maid, producer of snack products including graham crackers and Teddy Grahams, released their “This is Wholesome” advertising campaign on March 10 via YouTube. The commercial features several different types of families, including a single dad, an interracial family, a blended family and two gay men as parents.

The advertisement, which recognizes that the reality of family has changed, but the wholesome connections that families share still remains, received over four million views within four days of being uploaded. With 4.5 million views today, Honey Maid says the commercial has received ten times more positive comments than negative ones despite its controversial nature.

However, several large organizations have spoken out about the advertisement, specifically about its message of describing homosexuality families as “wholesome.” One such organization, One Million Moms, a group promoting “biblical truths” and family values, described the commercial as attempting to “normalize sin” and characterized the two gay parents as “sexually perverse.” The group stated that if Honey Maid continues to define these families as “wholesome,” they would boycott the company’s products.

Honey Maid used the negativity surrounding the initial advertisement as an extension of their overall campaign. The company released a response video showing that the number of supporters of Honey Maid’s campaign greatly outweighed those who were against it. The video reads, “But the best part was all the positive messages we received—over ten times as many—proving that only one thing really matters when it comes to family: love.”

I believe this campaign was successful not only because it managed to gain widespread attention due to the use of a controversial topic like homosexuality (which was, no doubt, a strategic decision made by Honey Maid), but also because the company was able to turn the negative publicity into something positive with their “Honey Maid: Love” response video. The company successfully characterized itself as a progressive brand with every family in mind.

Because Honey Maid already had an established brand following before the release of this campaign, the company was able to approach the topic of homosexuality without much backlash. Honey Maid is the top company in its brand category of graham crackers. The company’s loyal customers will probably remain loyal. However, if Honey Maid was not a top competitor in the marketplace, their campaign approach may have cost them their success and longevity.

Reference list:

–       Lee, J. (2014, April 4). Honey Maid responds to antigay backlash with ‘Love’ video. USA Today. Retrieved April 4, 2014, from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/04/04/honey-maid-love-gay-rights/7303481/

–       Nichols, J. (2014, April 3). Honey Maid releases ‘Love’ in response to anti-gay commercial backlash. The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 4, 2014, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/03/honey-maid-love-commercial_n_5086442.htmlComments

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Happy Halloween- Star Wars + Verizon

I love themed ads.  Verizon recently launched their Halloween themed ad.  And I felt it was very creative.  The commercial was just launched in the last two weeks.  Verizon decided to take a family and put them all in costumes to go out trick or treating and through the latest Verizon technology they could map out the path they were going to be taking and when and what houses to stop at. 

The all the family members, even including the dog was wearing a Star Wars themed Halloween costumes.  They were either characters or even ships from the movie.  I loved the family aspect of the commercial.  They are sending a wholesome message that trick or treating is supposed to be a safe activity for everyone. And an activity that can be done together. 

The technology that is used in the commercial includes tablets, new smart phones and even a wrist watch “communicator”.  Uses their snazzy communication devices they can communicate with other people trick or treating and compare the best locations and paths to take, by who is giving out the best kinds of candy and who is giving out dental floss.

I found minimal feedback on the commercial itself.  Many different bloggers or forums are discussing the commercial.  Saying how costume choices may not have been a legal choice and they Verizon could be sued.  However I don’t agree with any of this as of now.  I just feel like the commercial is supposed to entice the audience and target market, which in this case is everyone, which is why they chose a family, of different age groups. It shows many different devices in different ways and that anyone can use them. As far as the costumes, it just ties into the very essence of Halloween.  I don’t think there was any intention to disgrace Star wars, or to use something illegal.  And quite frankly the costumes are awesome, and may even boost star wars costumes this season. 

Apple Lives On *UPDATED

On September 10, 2013 Apple will host its highly anticipated annual release event in Cupertino, California. Here they will introduce new products into the market. This years speculations are that two new iPhones will be introduced. The first being the iPhone 5C which according to leaked images and rumors will be offered in a variety of colors as well as be built with plastic materials which will lower the price. The second iPhone, which is expected to be called the iPhone 5S, will feature a faster processor, better camera, and fingerprint sensor for the home button. The iPhone 5S is also rumored to be available in a gold color. Third rumor for the apple event is the release of a possible new Apple TV. The much-anticipated iOS7 is also expected to finally make its appearance to the public.  

With all this new technology expected to be released, Apple has done its usual secretive yet suggestive advertising, which spawns the many rumors behind the event. Apple events are always some of the most highly anticipated and covered technological events. This means Apple receives a lot of advertising whether it is intentional or not. For example, many technology websites have been continually writing about the possible releases which in turn sends users to the Apple website to research more. Thus, the coverage Apple receives whether it is negative or positive generates a steady stream of talk and advertisement for the company.

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One of the more creative ways Apple has advertised their event on September 10th is by releasing an image of the Apple logo in front of what appears to be bubbles in all sorts of colors, with the caption reading “This should brighten everyone’s day.” Simple yet elegant advertisements like these rile up Apple fanatics because it implies that something is to be released that will surely satisfy those waiting.  Yet, because the advertisement does not have any specifics as to what exactly will brighten up consumer’s days, Apple consumers become more eager to purchase or at least watch the event. 

In the past, Apple ads have always included simple, sentimental teasers that give the illusion that the product is a one of a kind that cannot be competed with. Even though Apple ads tend to be simple, they are all meant to sell the consumer a product.  Colors, music, captions, and logos all play a part in attracting the consumer into paying closer attention to the ad and falling in “love” with the product. For example, a recent T.V. ad for apple shows a variety of different people of all ages and ethnicities, doing everyday things all while a simple tune is played in the background and ending with the narrator of the commercial stating that the “signature” of Apple is everything. Ads like these tend to hit an emotional side for the consumer; the commercials goal is to relate to the consumer in every way. In this commercial, it almost feels as though everyone with an Apple product is a family, everyone is connected in some sort of way. With Ads like these, Apple has created a loyal fan base that remains true to their preferred company.

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http://youtu.be/Zr1s_B0zqX0

 

 

References

Stern, J. (03, September 13). iphone 5s and 5c? apple event scheduled for sept. 10. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/apple-iphone-5s-5c-event-set-september-10/story?id=20140770

 

Guglielmo, C. (03, September 13). Apple to host special event sept. 10 with invite hinting at colorful new iphones. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/connieguglielmo/2013/09/03/apple-to-host-special-event-sept-10-with-invite-hinting-at-colorful-new-iphones/