Marketer's Playbook

Honeymaid's 'This is Wholesome' Campaign Proves Powerful -- and Polarizing

Marketer's Playbook: Honeymaid

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Honeymaid's 2014 ad campaign portraying interracial, blended and same-sex families illicited a wealth of passionate responses -- both positive and negative.

When the company created its "This Is Wholesome" campaign, it wasn't looking to push an agenda, said Gary Osifchin, senior marketing director of Mondelez International. Instead, the company was looking for a fresh way for the 90-year-old brand to reach parents. The company was hitting a wall, he said.

The teams involved considered which message was most important to communicate. After Droga5 talked with experts on family upbringing and cultural anthropologists, "wholesome" was chosen. The word was used in marketing from the '30s to the '60s, but Mr. Osifchin said it painted an unrealistic picture of society.

"We're not a homogenous society. The tipping point has happened," Mr. Osifchin said. "And I think that brands who get it are going to do better over the long-term than brands who don't."

But uninformed attempts will flounder, he cautioned. "Don't just do it to do it," Mr. Osifchin said of progressive campaigns. "Consumers get it. You have to be true to who you're talking to."

Marketer's Playbook is an eight-part video series expanding on Ad Age's popular Playbook coverage. In Playbook we explore how marketers can do their jobs better and smarter. For this new video series, we're zeroing in on effective marketing strategies through exclusive, behind-the-scenes visits with top marketers at national and international brands.