Lucky Charms and Honey Maid Celebrate Nontraditional Families in Recent Ads

Having an adaptable marketing approach which recognizes social change is essential to a product’s longevity, and for some brands it means running the risk of isolating segments of their original customer base in order to reach new, potential buyers. For brands like Lucky Charms and Honey Maid, campaigns targeting nontraditional families seem to have been a risk well worth taking.

Earlier this year Honey Maid released its “This is Wholesome” commercial featuring an interracial family, a heavily tattooed dad and two gay fathers with their baby. Many unpleased viewers took to social media to convey their disapproval calling the commercial “not wholesome” and “disgusting.” In response to the feedback, Honey Maid created another video which turned those disapproving messages into a piece of art spelling out the word “love.” The video then reveals that Honey Maid received 10 times as many positive messages than negative ones. This video response quickly went viral and has received almost 4 million views to date on YouTube alone.

Conveying a similar message of acceptance as the Honey Maid ad, Lucky Charms recently launched its “Lucky To Be” campaign in celebration of National Pride Month. The campaign encourages people to share what they are #LuckyToBe on social media, and though the video has no direct reference to the gay community, the cereal’s recognizable rainbow marshmallow is prominently featured creating a connection to the gay pride rainbow flag. The video continues with this theme by stating, “We’re lucky. We live in a colorful world full of colorful people.” The campaign takes an approach which includes all people, asking them – regardless of race, age and sexual preference – to chime in on why they are lucky. Their message is of general acceptance and appreciation for everyone, including but not exclusive to the gay community.

This new approach to advertising and marketing is a result of changing social norms and perceptions, and is fueled by the power of public opinion on social media. It will be interesting to see how this trend continues to play out in the near future.