Turns out, the revolution will be televised. If you watch the news, though, you might miss it.
Hint: Keep an eye on the commercials.
Last month, Nabisco’s Honey Maid graham crackers aired a 30-second television commercial. “This Is Wholesome” features a diverse mix of families enjoying themselves and their Honey Maid graham crackers. There are the gay dads… the interracial parents… and the drum-playing-rocker-dad-with-tattoos (huh?)… and the Latino/single dad. Watch:
Clearly, straight-white-nuclear families are no longer consuming graham crackers in sufficient quantities, so Nabisco is going after… everyone else. Which is what you’re supposed to do if your shareholders expect you to sell more of what you make, not less. Honey Maid grahams is a $100M business – and those crafty Keebler elves are fierce competitors in the share-of-crunch battle.
So, on one level, this is just Advertising & Marketing 101. But there’s something else going on here. It’s in the messaging Nabisco chose to sell its graham crackers to an American tv audience:
No matter how things change,
what makes us wholesome
Everyday wholesome snacks,
for every wholesome family.
Nabisco wants us all to buy more of its graham crackers. To achieve that goal, it is spending millions of dollars to make a little 30-second film about Honey Maid’s brand personality: Wholesome and Fun! And we know that because we can see these different families having good, wholesome fun and eating good, wholesome Honey Maid graham crackers. The something else comes at the end of the spot, where Nabisco wants us all to know that it makes snacks for every wholesome family.
Cue the hellfire and damnation in 5… 4… 3… 2…
The group which styles itself ONE MILLION MOMS (actual number = several thousand) – bless their hearts – unleashes a scalding memo taking Nabisco to task for its “This is Wholesome” commercial! “Nabisco should be ashamed of themselves” scream all the moms! Sadly, @1milmoms haven’t caught fire on the social media. That tweet was retweeted six times… and only four of those even bothered to ‘favorite’ it. Ouch.
Of course, there aren’t one million moms with their knickers in a knot over Nabisco’s ‘shameful’ marketing. There also are not one million dads. These are “projects” of an all-too real organization called the ‘American Family Association’. AFA is oh so many things. Mostly, it is a designated “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the well-respected tracker and opponent of hatemongers in America. (Have a look at their website, and make a donation if you can. They do important work.)
AFA and its thousands of ‘moms’ and hundreds of ‘dads’ are SUPER busy folks though! They’re not just going after your Teddy Grahams. Oh no! They are boycotting Home Depot and Chevrolet and Red Robin burgers and the Air Force Academy and the Southern Baptists, Dodge RAM, Pepsi, NBC, ABC, Disney, the Boy Scouts – all for being insufficiently anti-gay. Oh, and they absolutely do NOT want you to see the new movie “Noah”, a filmed fiction which apparently does not conform to their own version of the written fiction. Whew! It is NOT easy to be a low-information bigot these days!
So, an American corporation or organization or politician does something in the name of diversity or progress, and the Lord’s Idiots scream and moan… and usually, that’s the end of it. But not this time. This time, something really interesting has happened.
Nabisco answered its antediluvian critics. Not in a press release or a tweet – although that would have been remarkable on its own. No, they produced a 2-minute response that says (in the nicest possible way): SHUT THE FUCK UP! It’s called “Love”:
What’s the big deal? It’s this: marketers tend not to get too far out ahead of their customers, if at all. When Nabisco produced and aired the original ad, they already knew it was well within the ‘norms’ of American civilization in 2014. When the lunatic fringe did their hateful song and dance, Nabisco could very easily have ignored them. After all, the Thousand Moms and Hundred Dads and the parent hate group do not get much play beyond their own echo chamber. Who cares? Well, Nabisco cares, enough to stand up and say, your hatefulness was drowned out by vastly greater messages of support. And they went to the time and the trouble to translate that support into a visual representation of the radical concept of “love”. Bravo Nabisco!
The world has changed. The bigots have lost. The anti-gay bigots. The anti-black bigots. The anti-latino bigots. Even the anti-tattoo bigots. Oh, they’re still around, in diseased little pockets, and they make some noise now and then. But no one is listening. America has moved on. Disney doesn’t care. Chevy doesn’t care. And Teddy Grahams doesn’t care. I think I’ll go buy a box of Honey Maid graham crackers and celebrate the continuing demise of the haters.
The End Is Nigh – for the bigots!
Day 088 #100happydays