ABC News’ Paula Fairs reports:
When graham cracker brand Honey Maid released an ad featuring gay and interracial couples, it received tremendous backlash. In response to the hateful outpouring, company owners have released a new ad that reinforces their earlier message.
The first ad, titled “This Is Wholesome,” was posted online March 10. Featuring families with both interracial and same-sex parents, the ad has been viewed more than 5 million times and generated more than 2,000 comments, sparking a pointed discussion by detractors and supporters of the message.
“It’s about recognizing that the American family dynamic and look has changed over the decade,” Gary Osifchin, senior marketing director at Honey Maid owner Mondelez International Inc., said today on “Good Morning America.” “And our product line has changed in parallel with that changing American family dynamic.”
The uproar was almost immediate. One person tweeted, “Your TV Commercial is awful.” Another wrote, “Buh bye Honey Maid snacks, not in my house.”
Even the conservative group “One Million Moms” called the ad an “attempt to normalize sin.”
In response, Honey Maid fired back with a follow-up ad that surrounds the negative responses with positive ones.
The second ad, titled “Love,” posted April 3, tells the reaction story to the first commercial. In the ad, the company says it hired artists to take the messages of hate and turn them into something positive.
The spot shows two women folding up numerous sheets of paper, containing the negative comments, into tube-like shape and laying them out on the ground. At the end of the spot, the image is revealed. The paper tubes spell the word “Love.”
“I think that the world we live in now where social media plays such a prominent role in our lives, companies feel that they can and often should react to backlash and criticism,” Business Insider deputy editor Julie Zeveloff said. “For honey maid, this was a really fantastic move.”
The ad says the company received more than 10 times as many positive comments than it did negative ones. As of Sunday night, the second ad had nearly 5,000 comments on YouTube and had been viewed 2.9 million times.
Honey Maid is hoping its message of tolerance sticks once and for all.