Homosexual Ads: Pushing a product or an agenda?

If you read this blog regularly, you know that I am a Christian; if this is your first time, now you know. Today I opened my Inbox to find an email with an Ad for Heinz Deli Mayo. (The email is from the AFA which I subscribe to.) The email was titled: Heinz ad pushes gay marriage and family, features homosexual kissing. You can watch the ad if you like:

I can’t help but ask myself the question, “What is the purpose of this ad? Is Heinz pushing a product, or an agenda?” To answer this question, I also had to ask, “Would this have the same impact if it were made with a hetro couple?” The only conclusion is that they are making a public statement in their support for the gay family. (You can read how I feel about this lifestyle in a previous post)

Whether you support homosexuality as a corporation or not, I guess that is for the Board and stockholders to vote on. Some people will boycott Heinz, myself NOT included, and email them about how outrageous it is to show this on TV. But let’s face it, we live in a world of diverse opinion and moral belief. It’s going to happen. Heinz has since pulled the ad, but I think with a little more discretion, they could have gotten their point across and kept the commercial in circulation. I think had they clipped the kiss at the end, everyone would have gotten the idea.

Is this where advertising is going? Will the next decade be consumed with political and moral statements made with a quick reference to the product? I don’t think so, but if companies continue in this, my advise is to use a little more discretion. Homosexuals don’t like being told they are wrong any more than Christians like being told they are. So in the name of the “tolerance” that the liberal media seems to glorify as their position, try to be a little more tolerant of those who believe opposite your view. Don’t throw kissing men in my face, and I’ll try not to throw a Bible in yours.

– mooney

~ by C.R. Mooney on June 24, 2008.

10 Responses to “Homosexual Ads: Pushing a product or an agenda?”

  1. I think the greater point is why is some corporation that is trying to sell a product pushing an agenda on anybody. I could understand if they were an organization dedicated to that belief. But I’m buying there product not there moral agenda. While I believe in having a good business ethic I also believe in wise business practices. This company has now alienated a huge consumer base. Homosexuals aren’t going to start buying more Ketchup now. Those who use Heinz products have always used Heinz products, sure maybe they will pick up a few customers but how many have they lost because they ran a commercial for Ketchup that was culturally inappropriate. This would be different if Heinz was organization whose purpose was fighting for Gay rights but they are in fact an organization that sells condiments. I would be much more receptive if they were just honest and came out with a commercial that addressed the issue head on rather than trying to sneak something by for it’s shock value.

  2. If it feels good, well then, do it. We’re all here to have a gay old time anyway, right? What is this world coming to? Sin is now viewed as “the norm”. There are no moral boundaries in today’s society. It’s a free for all. As long as you feel good, that’s all that matters in the world today. It really puts the fear of God in me. He has destroyed cities for this kind of sin before. What’s causing Him to withhold His fury now?

  3. I don’t think that Heinz intended to “push an agenda” or to make any sort of political or moral statement. I think they did precisely what any company wants to do in advertising: get you to talk about their product. For better or for worse, their commercial spawned a storm of discussion that outlasts a simple 30-second spot.

  4. Well Brian, I think your right, they did succeed in causing a storm of discussion. But it seems likely to me that there is an agenda being pushed. The owner of Heinz is Maria Teresa, Heinz, Kerry. This lady just happens to be married to the 2004 democratic presidential Nominee, Mr. John Kerry. I think it’s a bit naive to think that Heinz doesn’t have some kind of agenda. I doubt that it’s specifically gay rights though. It probably encompasses a much broader world view.

  5. “I don’t think that Heinz intended to “push an agenda” or to make any sort of political or moral statement. I think they did precisely what any company wants to do in advertising: get you to talk about their product. For better or for worse, their commercial spawned a storm of discussion that outlasts a simple 30-second spot.” Comment by Brian

    Could cost the Heinz corporation a substantial financial hit in terms of product loss. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord, just won’t have in Heinz products in the cupboard or the frig….
    malachi

  6. So in the name of the “tolerance” that the liberal media seems to glorify as their position, try to be a little more tolerant of those who believe opposite your view.

    Except both sides of any argument aren’t always of equal merit. Why should anyone be tolerant of intolerance? That’s crazy.

  7. First, thanks everyone for commenting.

    Jay – There is definitely a motive other than pushing a product for this commercial, but global conspiracy? c’mon

    Erin – Answer to your question? See Abraham and Lot, the prayers of many people

    Brian – But why release the ad just to pull it? this had to be approved and recalled by top level execs. i don’t think all press is good press, judging by some of the other comments, this risky business could cost them some on their bottom line.

    Malachi – Agreed, see above comment to Brian

    Cosmodaddy – Isn’t that what happens though? Christians are called narrow-minded intolerant bigots by liberals for saying that being gay is wrong, but isn’t that displaying their own narrow-minded intolerant bigotry?

  8. Thanks mooney for the post and the link from AFA where I was able to find the letter to send to Heinz Corporation. Not sure if all who commented have seen the latest on this story.

    They pulled the aid from British TV… comments from their PR guy was “we are sorry if we have offended everyone”.

    I am thinking whether they would admit it or not, an outcry came out against the ad and it became a financial decision. So profits were more important than their liberty to market their product as they first intended.

    Once again, thanks for making me aware of this.

    malachi

  9. Just came across your blog while I was researching for my University term paper on Queerness In Advertising. Liked your post and your writing, although I was disappointed that the video has now been made unavailable.
    You doubtless know about the McDonald’s ad campaign which features a homosexual theme, if you don’t – you can check it out at http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/mcdonalds-gay-commercial
    I think the point here is not that if a company uses a gay theme in its ad, gays would be more enthusiastic about buying the product. Like someone who commented here said, those who buy Heinz will always buy Heinz, and have always done so in the past. (There might be a psychological implication, though, to buy products of a company which is sympathetic to your community or lifestyle.)
    But I think it goes deeper than that – while advertising, at one level, is about grabbing eyeballs and making the campaign being talked about, it’s also about reaching out to a wider target audience, about integrating so-called minorities into the mainstream. I think that’s what most gay ads inadvertently seek to do. While profit-making is just a part of it, it’s also an attempt to portray homosexuals in a positive light and show to the world that there is much beyond the traditional nuclear family. Or at least, that’s what I’d like to think. My brother works in Ogilvy, one of the biggest advertising companies, and he says that previously, they stayed away from iffy subjects, but now, all that has changed, and it’s the norm to venture into unexplored territories and give better representation to homosexuals.

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