A Facebook photo showing a rainbow-colored Oreo cookie in support of gay Pride celebrations throughout the month has ignited a firestorm of controversy in the US this week, marking a sharp division between Christian fundamentalists and liberals, and signaling an emerging marketing trend.
The multi-colored, six-layer cookie titled, ‘Proudly support love!' was posted on Facebook this week and has become a viral sensation garnering 259,200 likes, 82,025 shares, and 48,220 comments as of June 28 -- or, what marketers would call, a PR success story.
One hitch: the product isn't actually for sale. Under the ad in fine print, reads the disclaimer, "Made with creme colors that don't exist."
But that hasn't stopped some Facebook commentators from issuing a clarion call to boycott the brand, with far-right Christian fundamentalists weighing in on the debate citing biblical verses and discussing evolution, and Oreo defenders applauding the company for the clever marketing campaign.
The month of June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month in the US, and many other major cities host major Pride events in the same month.
Kraft is the latest corporation to show its allegiance to the gay and lesbian community, a move that experts say freshens up its old-fashioned image and courts young, more progressive demographics.
US clothing retailer the GAP also released a new ad campaign this year featuring a gay couple embracing under the same T-shirt, while Ben & Jerry's released an ice cream flavor called Hubby Hubby in support of gay marriage. The name was changed from their Chubby Hubby flavor of fudge-covered peanut butter-filled pretzels in vanilla malt ice cream.