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Honey Maid Turns Hate Into Love
By: Jennifer Graber
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Graham crackers are a key ingredient in s’mores, pie crusts, and other tasty treats. Apparently, graham crackers are also a key ingredient in causing backlash and controversy. Who knew?

Recently the Nabisco brand aired a set of commercials for its new “This is Wholesome” campaign. The commercial advertisements featured a wide array of family groups, including: single fathers, gay men, multiracial parents, and more. Honey Maid’s tagline for the new commercials is “Everyday wholesome snacks for every wholesome family” and has an overarching theme of “No matter how things change, what makes us wholesome never will.” Some groups and individuals have strongly objected to Honey Maid’s commercial content. It’s like the Cheerios controversy all over again.
Social media was afire and emotions were running high following the new Honey Maid campaign launch. Groups like One Million Moms and other individuals aired their grievances on Facebook and Twitter. Comments included terms such as “disgusting” and “horrible.” Protestors of the controversial commercials even went so far as to say that they were highly offended and what Nabisco and Honey Maid did was shameful.
Honey Maid could have responded in a number of ways. But the brand chose to fight back, in a sense. It created a YouTube video with the caption: “We made a commercial about what makes families, family. And we received a lot of comments. See what we did with them.” And what the brand did was turn all the negative comments into a literal work of art. The video documented two artists forming printed out copies of the negative comments into the word, love. The brand’s video took an unexpected, but sweet, turn when it showcased the fact that it received ten times as many positive comments. The two artists also printed those comments out and added them to the word "love" to form an overwhelming piece of art. The video concludes by saying that love is the only thing that truly matters when considering the definition of a family.
Honey Maid stood up for what the brand believed in. But why was it necessary in the first place? It was due to the onslaught of hateful comments and negativity. And one must ask again, why? Why is there such negativity to begin with? The great thing about the United States is that we have the freedom to have and express our own opinions and beliefs. That freedom is applicable to brands and people alike, though brands probably have to be more calculated in their expression than the average person.
We also have the liberty to disagree with one another. After all, if we had the same beliefs and ideals, it might be a tad boring. But what ever happened to “I disagree with you. Here is why.”? Disagreements have gone from clever and intelligent debates to negative backlash. Side note: not all have gone that path; there is still some very respectful discourse over beliefs.

Both sides of the issue are absolutely entitled to express their beliefs; in fact, it is welcome. Nowhere does it say brands or people have to agree. That’s the beauty of life and business. However, why not do so in a civilized and respectful manner? Either side would be better received if that was the case. So, the Nabisco brand certainly deserves a round of applause for its respectful, and moving, response. More brands, and people, should follow suit.


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About the Author
Jennifer Graber is a Business Development Manager and marketing enthusiast. Her specific interests include branding, consumer behavior, development, integrated marketing communications, and new & social media.
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