Honey Maid's "This Is Wholesome" campaign enters its third year today at a cultural crossroads.
On the one hand, the Mondelēz brand's message of diversity and inclusivity is right in step with American culture—following milestones like the national legalization of same-sex marriage. On the other hand, the bitter tone of Election 2016 has revealed the stark divisions, and cultural and racial resentments, clearly still at play in the U.S.
Honey Maid's latest "Wholesome" advertising from Droga5, which you can see first on Adweek.com, balances those forces by embracing a new word as a central theme—acceptance. And it goes beyond looking at the changing face of the nuclear family to address broader political themes, with one spot that shows neighbors from different cultures putting aside their fears and becoming friends.
That spot, "Neighbors," seems crafted explicitly in response to immigration issues that have made headlines in the presidential race over the past year. "I didn't know anything about her culture. Only what I saw in the news," one neighbor says in voiceover—while looking out through her home's blinds at her new neighbor.
See the rest of the spot here:
Adweek asked Katrina Plummer, equity brand manager for Honey Maid, whether the ad is meant to be taken in part as a commentary on the current political climate.
"We are watching society change over time, because we think it is important to be reflective of today's world, and to be inclusive of a cross-section of those unique families that make up the American society," Plummer replied. "Honey Maid is acknowledging the changing family dynamic among our consumers and are excited about the opportunity for 'This Is Wholesome' to feature and celebrate real diverse families."
Three more spots address the idea of acceptance in different ways, including an adoption story, one father accepting his gay son and son-in-law, and another father who comes home from war as a double amputee. In each spot, the family members are seen putting peanut butter and heart-shaped strawberry slices on graham crackers.
Plummer said the new commercials evolve Honey Maid's message of wholesomeness by focusing more directly on this idea of acceptance.
The campaign "has always shared the stories of diverse, wholesome American families," she said. "This latest chapter for Honey Maid is going one step further to celebrate their stories of acceptance and show how acceptance can foster love and friendship within families and among neighbors. We tell four different stories of acceptance featuring five families—a traditional Hispanic father who found joy and love in accepting his gay son and son-in-law, a disabled veteran and wife that have come to accept their new post-war reality, a young boy who has accepted his adopted brother, and two neighboring families who have grown to realize they have more similarities than differences."
In the press release accompanying the campaign, Honey Maid acknowledges the split nature of American culture, which is advancing in some ways but still stuck in patterns of hate.
"Acceptance isn't always a reality," the brand says. "The negative headlines you read on the Internet often reflect the animosity, bigotry and intolerance that society grapples with today. In fact, a recent Pew Research Center survey found that nearly three-quarters of American adults who use the Internet have witnessed online harassment. But what if you could experience it as a place that was more accepting of different ideas, beliefs and lifestyles?"
To that end, the new campaign also features an interesting online component. Honey Maid is introducing a "Wholesome Button"—a browser app that "allows users to experience the internet through the lens of acceptance and positivity." Clicking on the button changes images and headlines on any web page to "content celebrating love, heartwarming family connections and acceptance."
For example, this is the wholesome-ized version of today's New York Times homepage:
"This tool truly allows users to view the Internet through the lens of acceptance and positivity, something that is part of our brand DNA," said Plummer. "By giving people the opportunity to connect with our campaign and share a reimagined world, we hope to bring wholesome families closer together, invite people to think about acceptance in their own lives and even start a dialogue with someone within their own family or community that they have struggled to accept."
Client: Mondelēz International; Honey Maid
Campaign: "This Is Wholesome"
Title: "Little Brother," "Neighbor," "Husband," "Mis Hijos"
Creative Chairman: David Droga
Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer
Executive Creative Director: Kevin Brady
Creative Directors: Devon Hong, Tara Lawall
Copywriter: German Rivera Hudders
Art Director: J.J. Kraft
Junior Art Director: Andrew Chin
Junior Copywriter: Sam Bauer
Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
Head of Broadcast Production: Ben Davies
Senior Broadcast Producer: Jennifer Chen
Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
Strategy Directors: Katie Coane, Sam Matthews
Senior Strategist: Milla McPhee
Senior Communications Strategist: Taylor Hines
Social Communications Strategist: Whitney Brodribb
Group Account Director: Kelsey Robertson
Account Directors: Caitlin Chandler, Amanda Chandler
Account Manager: Jasmine McDavid
Associate Account Manager: Amy Rosenberg
Project Manager: Monique Lavie
Client: Mondelez International; Honey Maid
Vice President, Biscuits Equity: Jason Levine
Equity Brand Manager: Katrina Plummer
Senior Associate Brand Manager, Media and Content Associate: Emmett Schalle
Production Company: Public Record
Director: Galen Summer
Director of Photography: Zak Mulligan
Executive Producer: Jeremy Yaches
Producer: Elizabeth MacKenzie
Editing: Cosmo Street
Editor: Mark Potter
Assistant Editor: Eduardo Wong
Executive Producer: Maura Woodward
Producer: Luiza Naritomi
Executive Producer: Diana Dayrit
Flame Artist: Jon Magel
Color Grade: RCO
Colorist: Seth Ricart
Executive Producer: Marcus Lansdell
Music: Q Department
Sound: Sonic Union
Mixer: Rob McIver
Wholesome Button: Weber Shandwick
Executive Creative Director: Jim Paul
Creative Director: Jeff Immel
Associate Creative Director: Emma Arnold
Copywriter: Mikinzie Stuart
Junior Copywriter: Lucy Butka
Art Director: Irek Jania
Creative Technologists: Kevin Kilduff, Kedar Deshpande
Production Company: Driftlab
Account Executive, Vice President: Lauren Danis
Account Vice President: Caroline Lainio
Account Director: Andrea Clift