Too nice to call it trolling: HoneyMaid responds to hate — with love

Do progressive politics just make for good business?

It seems they might, judging from the latest HoneyMaid ad, called “Love,” released after people left hateful comments about the same-sex couple featured in their ad, “This is Wholesome.” HoneyMaid avoided the snark route, and went straight for sentimentality instead. They printed out all of the negative comments and used them to make a collage that spells out the word “love.”

The HoneyMaid commercial is just the latest in a general trend toward inclusivity in advertising. Remember all the flack Cheerios caught for its biracial couple and their sweet daughter in “Just Checking?”

Both companies responded by doubling down on their initial ads; the Cheerios sequel aired during the Super Bowl.

Said “Adweek:”

“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.”

It seems Cheerios and HoneyMaid have found the antidote to the snark and cynicism that passes for high-minded commentary on much of the Internet: genuine niceness. Still, it’s not as easy as it sounds. You’ve still got to avoid a minefield of seeming pat, schlocky or sanctimonious, all turn-offs.

The original HoneyMaid ad, which now has more than four million views:

And the “Love” sequel:

Soraya Nadia McDonald covers arts, entertainment and culture for the Washington Post with a focus on race and gender issues.
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