Marketers who make ads about inclusive families these days need a battle plan for how to deal with the haters. And it's as much an opportunity as a crisis.
It began, of course, with Cheerios, which was surely legitimately surprised last year when its ad with the interracial family was flooded with racist comments on YouTube. General Mills' reaction was complicated. First it shut down the YouTube comments, then it slowly embraced what quickly became an outpouring of support—and finally it aired a brilliantly subtle sequel on this year's Super Bowl.
Advertisers who do this kind of progressive marketing are surprised by the haters no longer. In fact, I'd be willing to bet Honey Maid and Droga5 already had a plan in place for the video below—a response to the haters (and supporters) of its ultra-inclusive "This Is Wholesome" ad—before the first spot (which now has more than 4 million views) even aired.
Is that a cynical way to approach inclusive messaging—to calculatingly harness the hatred against it to sell more stuff? Perhaps. Still, it's quite amusing to see the haters turned into pawns who can be played for extra exposure.
Here's the original ad: