Using family values in campaigns has always been a very powerful tool in advertising, specially during Christmas, when those values have a lot of consensus in people (no one wants to spend Christmas away from their families), the messages that included these values usually had a lot of success and sold a lot of products.
But times changes, and now, every time you turn on the TV and you see this ads depicting traditional families, like the ones about cleaning products, that always show a woman using those products while the husband is working at the office, doesnt it feel a little old? Does modern families actually look like that?
I believe the answer is no, a very definitive no, the occidental world has seen some huge changes in the social institution we call family in the last 20 years, the traditional family composed by a Mam, A Dad and a couple of children is no longer the main model, now we have a wide variaty of families, that can include lonely dads or moms, or separated families, or even gay families, but all of these diversity is not used by brands on their marketing campaigns, and I believe this is a huge deficit.
Brands really need to change the way they are depicting families, but the big question is : how? And its not an easy question to answer. The wide variety of possible families makes it very hard to depict one model without excluding the others, if you create an ad showing a gay family, traditional families will automatically feel excluded and the message wont work with them. The job can be extremely difficult.
I believe the key is to stop showing families, and instead of that, to show the problems and tensions moderns families have to deal with. Sure, there are a lot of possibles families out there, but most of them deal with the same difficulties: raising children, paying the debts and the rent, organizing holidays, etc.
Those issues must be the key in the new family approach for marketing, that, and including some of this new models in the ads, without excluding traditional families. Its quite a challenge, but we must address it if we want to keep the family resource alive in advertising.
Mcdonalds have an excellent example of this, they made an ad of a parent talking with his gay son, its just perfect:
What do you think of all of this? Have you seen any other success case where brands have done this?