retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Times has a story about how "a slew of major American brands — including Honey Maid, Microsoft, Chevrolet, YouTube and CoverGirl — prominently featured everyday Muslim men, women and children in their marketing last year. While such ads were apolitical in nature, focused on themes of community and acceptance, they were viewed as bold, even risky, in a year when there were campaign statements by Donald J. Trump about a Muslim registry and a ban on Muslim immigrants."

Perhaps most notable was the Amazon holiday commercial, which we reported on here.

The Times writes that "several advertising executives likened the movement to the decision by mass marketers to cast same-sex couples and their children in ads for the first time in 2013 and 2014, making inclusion and acceptance a priority over potential criticism from some customers." And the Amazon experience demonstrated how positive such efforts can be - the ad went viral, and most people seemed to respond positively to the message of respect and inclusion.

That said, it isn't always the case. The Times writes that "ads showing any kind of racial diversity can now attract heaping amounts of vitriol online — most of it delivered anonymously — as State Farm discovered last month when it posted an ad of a black man proposing to a white woman on Twitter. Anti-Muslim remarks, like 'they don’t belong here,' peppered the comments under Chevrolet’s video in June of two twins from Los Angeles, named Ruqaya and Qassim, who were accepted into a soccer program the company sponsors. They were 8 years old when the video, which did not mention religion, was made."
KC's View:
I love these sorts of commercials, and try to bring them to MNB when I get the opportunity. The fact is that we're living in a far more diverse and multicultural world than in the past, and I think companies are smart to recognize and embrace it.

Though, as our next editorial story points out, it is possible that such decisions can land companies in hot water.