By Brandy Black
When I founded The Next Family brand, my vision was to create a place inclusive to ALL types of families, not just those headed up by two moms, like mine. Until very recently, television and magazines had only presented us with a myopic view of family: one man + one woman = their biological children. But according to a TYLENOL® study, more than half of those asked are a part of a family, or know someone who is, that do not fit this “traditional” mold. I wondered how children must feel when they or their parent(s) aren’t represented accurately, or even at all. I decided to carve out a space where single, adoptive, multi-racial, multi-generational, gay, and straight families could share their stories.
Over the last five years, there has been an exciting metamorphosis in media recognition of all types of families. And even though the many variations on “family” aren’t at all new, it is refreshing to find them at last reflected in advertisements – especially those of large, established corporations.
The new #HowWeFamily campaign launched by TYLENOL® showcases the uniqueness of modern families while focusing on the fact that we all share the same fundamental values essential to creating an enduring family bond.
To launch the campaign, TYLENOL® collaborated with Academy Award-winning director Dustin Lance Black on a commercial featuring families of all types sharing moments typically only enacted by “traditional” husband-wife families.
To see all these families in a national television ad for a brand that I (and generations before me) have trusted countless times…it literally brought me tears of joy. I often turn to TYLENOL® to remedy a headache after a long day, but with its new campaign, TYLENOL® has found a profound way to relieve my pain. I cannot accurately describe my children’s lit-up faces as they watched a commercial featuring a family that looks more like their own.
When I think of the TYLENOL® brand, words like “legacy” “heritage” and “tradition” come to mind. The fact that TYLENOL® has created an entire campaign around re-defining that which it has always stood behind –family– is truly groundbreaking. Rather than cling to old imagery of monolithic families, the company has done something revolutionary and brave.
TYLENOL®, by including all types of families, you have shown the rest of the world that families like mine are not invisible. You are helping to forever re-define “family” and therefore deserve a continued place in the homes and medicine cabinets of this country.
Here is the commercial that made my day.
TYLENOL® – a brand that has cared for families for over 60 years – believes that it isn’t who you love, it is how you love that truly matters most. And honestly that’s what it should be about. Because at the end of the day, that’s what is important – that the love isn’t lost.
Photo Credit: Jennifer Roper