Non Traditional Family Advertising

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A reflection to Adage.com’s article “Honey Maid’s Take on Wholesome Families Includes Gay Couple

clockworkbrands_friends-400x266As I lay in bed with my boyfriend and our two young sons watching the sixth consecutive episode of ABC’s “Modern Family,” I became enamored with the pleasantry of each family dynamic illustrated within the series. A gay couple with their adopted daughter, an older, wealthy man with his young, sexy Colombian wife and her son, and the conventional suburban Mom/Dad-with-three kids make up the eccentric and hilarious cast of this award winning mockumentary. What is it about this sitcom that sets it apart from the others? Amongst cookie-cutter productions such as “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Up All Night,” “King of Queens,” and many others, the true magic behind “Modern Family” is its mold-breaking creativity. The show steps outside traditional familial structures, you know–the one’s that have been predisposed since the “Leave it to Beaver” days of television. What was once so comfortably engrained in the mind of society for decades has become the antithesis of successful contemporary marketing. Who decided that only Moms and Dads with 2.5 children qualified as a family? Isn’t it archaic to ignore the growing acceptance, not to mention benefits, of homosexual parenting? Moreover, single parents, teen mothers, adoption and divorce have become societal normalcies more than ever before. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out “Modern Family’s” secret weapon: broad based media.

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Enjoying a rerun of “Modern Family” became the perfect segue into discussing the hype behind Honey Maid’s newest advertising campaign. To celebrate their 90 year old company, Honey Maid developed quite the clever marketing strategy, one that strikes resemblance to “Modern Family’s” successful recipe. The latest televised commercial for Honey Maid portrays several wholesome families enjoying, well, life. The families include a gay couple with their newborn baby, a punk rock, tattooed mother with her daughter, and an interracial couple with their mixed race children to name a few. These families offer a glimpse into what Honey Maid is attempting to represent as an all encompassing, all inclusive and widely diverse family unit. This version of mainstream marketing has emphasized diversity-infused, real-life examples of genuine modern families. I found the juxtaposition of a 90 year old, “traditional” company with a marketing strategy that showcases families within a changing and evolving society brilliant. Almost as brilliant as Honey Maid’s added bonus: by using social media the company has invited consumers to submit photographs of their own personal “wholesome” families via the hashtag #thisiswholesome.

Not only is the universal relevance of the ad going to win over many, but the consumer inclusion and interaction via social media will be icing on top of a very wholesome cake. The most interesting aspect of the campaign is its lack of any “consumer incentive” with a materialistic reward. Honey Maid offers no sweepstakes, grand prize, or giveaways for the “best family submission” as a result of “sharing” or “retweeting” the #thisiswholesome campaign. Rather, the company has reached out and connected with millions by simply touching people on a personal and emotional level. Way to strategize “Modern Family” and Honey Maid–keep up the good work. Marketing, advertising, and branding firms need to start developing marketing programs for non traditional family advertising .

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