Honey Maid’s “This is Wholesome” commercial has been widely scrutinized through social media for taking a stance in a cultural war that has been going on for decades. The commercial simply and tastefully depicts different families interacting amongst themselves and showing a sense of normalcy within families that are otherwise looked at as non-traditional or whose relationships are very often thought of as unacceptable because they are homosexual or interracial in nature. I strongly support the message behind this commercial. It is understood that people have their reservations when it comes to change, but the United States is not composed of one race, one culture, or one way of thinking. Growing up and having a nuclear family is becoming a thing of the past. The United States is and has been a melting pot for some time now and in creating this commercial Honey Maid has helped refocus the light on an already very controversial topic. In fact the company’s video depicts what is becoming a new tradition in the United States; people of different ethnicity, religious backgrounds, sexual orientation, etc., coming together and forming diverse, beautiful families who love and accept each other and who are just as wholesome.
During this commercial, Honey Maid focused on what increasing numbers of families look like. The commercial featured a same-sex couple and their children, an energetic young family with punk rock musicians as parents; the father having tattoos and a rocker look, a single father raising his son, and an interracial military family all coming together to share Honey Maid products. These types of families are not new to our society. In fact, according to the article, “Honey Maid celebrates today’s American family,” “there are nearly 20 million single parent households and one in 12 married couples in the U.S. are interracial,” (PR Newswire, 2014). Throughout this video, the company showed their support for these different families while at the same time highlighting the importance of family values and practices instead of focusing on its image. The world is changing and although these families are not what the majority of society considers “traditional,” they are now a cultural norm. The shift in what families look like was a huge part of the commercial, but the love and laughter are what brought the commercial together and sent out a positive message that it doesn’t matter how your family is constructed; with love as the common denominator, all families are the same.
A happy, wholesome family is what is conveyed in the commercial. The author’s primary claim is “no matter how things change, what makes us wholesome, never will.” Let’s first look at the word wholesome. Wholesome means having good health and physical well-being. In relating this to the families in this commercial, the author was saying, no matter how much the world changes and families evolve, what makes us wholesome as a family and as people will never change, and that which makes us wholesome is loving one another and having happy and healthy relationships. In the commercial you get a sense that these families are comfortable with their family structures. The ‘wholesomeness’ is conveyed in the commercial through the various family interactions such as the same-sex couple bonding with their newborn baby, the son of a single father warmly smiling at his dad while he is being helped with his shirt, the happiness when the punk rock dad plays his drums for his daughter as she dances around the room, and the unity of a bi-racial family taking a walk down the street.
When you think of a single parent, does single father come to mind? I found it intriguing how Honey Maid depicted and sympathized with the single father caring for his son instead of a single mother. Usually, the U.S. focuses and sympathizes with single mothers and not so much with the single father, and I found it refreshing that they found a way to portray so many different messages in one. According to the Pew Research Center analysis of Decennial Census and American Community Survey data, “single father households has increased since the 1960s, from 300,000 to more than 2.6 million in 2011,” (Livingston, 2013). Although these statistics are a forth of the number of single mother households in 2011, numbers are rising, and Honey Maid shed light on an interesting point of view (Livingston, 2013).
For the world to evolve, tradition must also. The world is so hung up on what has been the norm and what has been the tradition that we are so close-minded when it comes to anything that threatens that way things always have been. Even through the commercial sparked a lot of controversy over social media, Honey Maid stood by the campaign and instead of remaining silent or changing the approach they used all the negative feedback to reinforce their positive message (Solomon, 2014). Social media can be a very powerful platform for others to express themselves about a company’s marketing strategies. This can help or hurt a company but in this case, Honey Maid prevailed. Just as Honey Maid is evolving and coming out with different products, the world, and their audience is evolving, and they are simply acknowledging change and what the new “traditional” family will look like down the line.
Honey Maid (March 10, 2014). Honey Maid: This is Wholesome [Video file]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xeanX6xnRU
Honey Maid: this is wholesome [Photograph]. (2014, April 05). Retrieved from http://theinspirationroom.com/daily/2014/honeymaid-celebrates-wholesome-families-with-love/
Livingston, G. (July 2, 2013). The rise of single fathers. Pew Research Center. http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/07 /02/the-rise-of-single-fathers/
PR Newswire (March 10, 2014). Honey Maid celebrates today’s American family. PR Newswire US. http://search.ebscohost.com.oclc.fullsail.edu:81/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bwh&AN=201403100900PR.NEWS.USPR.CG79573&site=ehost-live
Social media microphones [Photograph]. (2014, March 11). Retrieved from http://www.marketsmithinc.com/2014/03/social-media-mind-gender-gap/
Solomon, A. (April 5, 2014). Honey Maid and the business of love. The New Yorker. http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/honey-maid-and-the-business-of-love