Honey Maid Redefines “Wholesome” to Include Gay Dads

March 13, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DAD STUFF, THINGS DAD DIGS

Looks like the gay agenda is continuing to blaze its flaming path into more and more homes, this time via a commercial for…DAH DAH DUM!!! graham crackers.

But seriously, this is a seriously sweet ad. Not only does it depict doting, gay dads, but also a mixed race family, a single father, and a tattooed dad banging the drums as his little girl dances around the living room. The ad, the campaign and the company have gotten quite a bit of coverage, but I wanted to get the scoop on some of the thought behind the spot.

A representative from Honey Maid was kind enough to answer a few questions in the midst of what I’m sure is an extremely busy time for them.

Were you inspired at all by the recent commercials by Coke and Chevy that portray same-sex parents? Or was this spot already in the works?
We, like others, are recognizing the changing family dynamic in society and are excited about the opportunity for the “This is Wholesome” campaign to feature and celebrate wholesome family connections, while showcasing the diversity and evolution of our Honey Maid product line over time.

The choice of the word “Wholesome” is intriguing. It means “healthy” but also “moral,” “ethical” and “harmless” — words many don’t associate with the families you show in the ad. Can you tell me about the decision to use the word “wholesome?”
As a brand, Honey Maid has stood for wholesome for almost 99 years. The word choice really reflects not only the products but also the way making s’mores or other family connections are similarly wholesome. In addition, Honey Maid recognizes that while the makeup and the day-to-day lives of families have evolved, the connections that make a family still endure.

The public is often skeptical about advertising—that all decisions are motivated by the bottom line. What were the motivations behind choosing to depict these particular families in your commercial?
This campaign shows real families while also demonstrating the true diversity of our consumers and our products. In an effort to be authentic, Honey Maid profiled a breadth of families, and those featured in the campaign represent a cross-section of some of the diversity we see in American society today.

Do you have any other spots in the campaign coming up?
The spots ran last night [Wednesday] on ABC during Modern Family, Suburgatory and Trophy Wife. It’s scheduled for appearances over the next couple weeks on ABC, Bravo and CBS during both daytime and primetime TV. In general though, there are six different families featured throughout the spots and four long-form videos that will be coming out.

Watch the first of the long-form videos here, featuring the gay dads! Catch upcoming videos on Honey Maid’s YouTube channel.

How can customers/fans can show their support of Honey Maid, in addition to buying your products?
Honey Maid fans and followers are encouraged to share photos of their wholesome family moments with us on Twitter and Instagram, using hashtag #thisiswholesome.

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Okay, so I know that wasn’t much of a scoop. I imagine such an under-the-radar company like Honey Maid is trying to keep folks focused on their product, and limit all the boat-rocking to what’s seen on the screen. I certainly applaud the huge steps they’ve taken, but I’m sure it was also a very calculated risk. Some serious thought was put into the families chosen, and into using the word “wholesome” to describe not only the yummy snacks, but also a couple of homosexuals. And did you notice the close-up of the intertwined hands of the bi-racial parents, followed seconds later by a close-up of the intersmooshed marshmallows and chocolate in a s’more? Yeah, me neither.

Looking through some of the social media response, I’ve noticed a few “I’m never buying Honey Maid products again” comments. But the vast majority are more along the lines of this comment on their Facebook page (which has 147 Likes so far):

“As a gay dad, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate being represented in your commercial. I know there was money involved in the decision, but I applaud your inclusion and hope it’s an example to many other advertisers to get over their fears of stepping outside the mainstream.”

I couldn’t have said that better myself. Oh wait, I did say that. 😉

While Honey Maid’s official statements are staying centered on the wholesomeness of their products and the families shown in their ad, the inclusion of this mix of families is pretty significant. If you think about what racial minorities, bi-racial couples, single parents and LGBT Americans have had to endure over the last 99 years, this ad is a testament to not only how far Honey Maid has come, but the country as well.

PS: Dear Honey Maid, our family would like to audition for your next Teddy Grahams commercial…


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For a great write up on the awesome trend of including same-sex parents in ads (and yeah, more quotes from me), check out this article from my pals at 8BitDad.com!

Hungry for more goodies? Stop by the Designer Daddy Facebook page and give us a Like!

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13 responses to “Honey Maid Redefines “Wholesome” to Include Gay Dads”

  1. You, my friend, are awesome. Keep up the good work!

  2. Don says:

    OMG Brent, you’re gay??!!

    Lol. Kidding. Geez.

    I have to say that I’ve never been a huge graham cracker fan for whatever reason. I like a s’more every now and then, but not like my kids. They love those crackers.

    Most of us don’t often think about how never being represented in ads of any sort can really affect a group of people. The more visible something is the more comfortable people will be with it. Here’s hoping this is a step in the right direction. Great post.

    • Brent Almond says:

      Can’t get anything by YOU, can I? 😉

      Glad you liked the post. Thanks for stopping by — come by anytime, just be sure and tip the bartender on your way out.


  3. Sebastian says:

    Good on Honey Maid for stepping outside the traditional nuclear family. Indeed, how many of us these days still have that dynamic? Not even half, I would imagine.

    Brent, your family is beautiful! My (big gay) husband of nearly 10 years and I are thinking of adopting in the next couple of years, and it is so refreshing to see more diverse families being represented in popular media. The good that this might do to struggling LGBT youth in helping them to feel like normal, first-class citizens is inspiring, and the fact that it steps on some narrow-minded bigoted right-wing Christian toes is just icing on the rainbow cake!

    • Brent Almond says:

      And I’ve found a good number of those traditional nuclear families are okay with others that aren’t. Our hetero allies are growing in number every day. 🙂

      Congrats on your plans to adopt! It’s quite the adventure — please keep me posted on your progress!

      Hugs to you & your BGH and thanks for stopping by!

  4. Amber says:

    This hetero momma supports all lgbqt individuals and families! Great commercial/campaign!

  5. […] against brands that treat us as doofuses in their marketing, or forget we even exist. We praise real and inclusive descriptions of fatherhood and we challenge each other to do the work that shows fathers are equal players in the […]

  6. […] against brands that treat us as doofuses in their marketing, or forget we even exist. We praise real and inclusive descriptions of fatherhood and we challenge each other to do the work that shows fathers are equal players in the […]

  7. […] Designer Daddy, celebrated the appearance of two-dad families in commercials from both Chevy and HoneyMaid. Network TV programming also reflected greater acceptance of gay dads, with ABC’s Modern Family […]

  8. […] Like Chevrolet, Coca-Cola and Honey Maid before them, Johnson & Johnson (parent company of Tylenol) joins an ever-growing number of corporations including LGBT couples and parents in their national advertising. The cynic in me wants to focus on the fact that the spots have yet to air on TV — in my mind a truer indication of acceptance on a larger scale, and something the ads for the other companies listed have done. […]

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