I can’t even tell you how much I love this…  Back in March, graham cracker company Honey Maid released a commercial promoting the idea of wholesome families. One of the families featured was made up of two dads and their children.

You can see the ad here:

As you can imagine, some conservative groups took extreme offence at the idea that a same-sex couple could ever be considered “wholesome.” Honey Maid received thousands of angry emails protesting the ad and the notoriously cranky One Million Moms organization even started a campaign to boycott the company for attempting to “normalize sin.”

Instead of kowtowing to the bigots, Honey Maid decided to double down on its message of tolerance and created the following ad in response to all their haters:

This ad deserves to win all the awards, forever.

Why this is so awesome

Beyond the strong message promoting diversity and equality, there’s just so much to love about this ad:

  • It refuses to pander to the naysayers or try to appeal “everybody” (which is impossible). Instead they state their position and focus on strengthening their connection with people who feel the same way they do on the topics of LGBT and racial equality.
  • It supports artists and uses original art to convey a powerful message (I love it SO MUCH when businesses and artists work together to create something of value and beauty).
  • It’s clever and original. I’ve never seen this kind of art done before and I wasn’t expecting to see all the positive messages added at the end. It actually transformed MY negative feelings towards the bigots into joy over the fact that there are way more awesome people than non-awesome people in the world.
  • It evokes a powerful emotional response without feeling manipulative. Sure, if you’re feeling cynical you could argue that the company deliberately trolled social conservatives with their first commercial, knowing they’d get great fodder with which to create a compelling follow-up ad. But you know what? Even if that were true I’d still applaud them for deciding to take such a strong stand on an issue that means a lot to me.
  • It’s simple. This commercial is about as low budget as you can get. To pull something similar off, all you’d need is a camera and an artist or two. I’m hoping the bulk of the budget went to the artists – that would make me love the company even more.
  • It’s all about relationship building. You’ll notice the ad doesn’t mention the company’s products once. All it does is reveal an aspect of the company’s “personality” by conveying a belief they stand for and obviously feel strongly about.

I’ve got to admit, I’ve never thought much about Honey Maid before this but with this ad, they’ve definitely given me a strong reason to buy their product over their competitors. I’ll even shell out the extra dough to buy their products over the cheaper no-name alternatives. Well done, Honey Maid.

What can you learn from this?

Don’t be afraid to take a stand for something you strongly believe in. The people who share your beliefs will think highly of you as a corporate citizen and feel more compelled to support your business.

Also: look for opportunities to collaborate with local artists and incorporate original artwork in your marketing – it will add originality to your message and earn raves from people who believe that supporting local artists is important.

What do you think? Are you more likely to buy products from companies that take a stand on issues that are important? If so (or if not), please share in the comments!