Old Navy’s Latest Ad and Positive Response Rep 2016
America’s demographics are changing, and marketers are taking note by increasingly portraying diverse families in their ads. Some people are not too happy about this and let Old Navy know when they tweeted an image of an interracial family wearing its clothes. The unleashing of negative comments from some people espousing racist views was unsurprising.
Evolving society inevitably leaves some people looking past individual disagreement in the interest of societal harmony juxtaposed against others who dislike fellow citizens based on individual disagreement over the fact that said fellow citizens accept the fact that society is evolving. It’s a losing battle for the latter group because there are more groups who are looking to gain acceptance within our social compact and more people willing to accept those groups than people who oppose both. Still, it takes time and requires patience.
Deena Zaru points to the Pew Research Center’s 2012 Social and Demographic Trends project, showing that 45 years after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a ban on interracial marriage in Loving v. Virginia, the rate of marriage across racial and ethnic lines in the United States is on the rise and so is public acceptance of these unions. In 2013, 12 percent of newlyweds married someone of a different race, a record high.
Aimee Picchi documents how supporters of the Old Navy ad campaign, including many interracial families and friends, tweeted messages with the hashtag #LoveWins, a term that went viral last year after the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling. Fans of Old Navy’s message took the hashtag to heart and tweeted messages of support as well as personal photos showing their own diverse families.
Old Navy, which is owned by Gap (GPS), was likely aware that the rewards of promoting racial inclusivity far outweigh the risks of alienating some shoppers, given that a recent study from BabyCenter and YouGov found that 80 percent of parents like seeing diverse families in marketing campaigns. About four in 10 families are diverse when it comes to race, gender or household formation, such as single-parent households or families with stay-at-home dads, the study found.