STIHIE: Ideal Family

I mentioned Wells Fargo’s commercial featuring two lesbians learning sign language to communicate with a deaf Latina they’re adopting in a post yesterday, but I determined that it deserved a repost as its very own STIHIE feature.

Here’s the ad for our readers who haven’t had the pleasure of seeing it yet:


It truly is a historical milestone for something like this to run on national networks. . .for the sole purpose of convincing people to put their money in the hands of one of America’s largest banks. It was only 11 years ago when George W. Bush was able to secure re-election due in part to his support of the Marriage Protection Amendment.

Now a cross-racial, lesbian adoption set-up is celebrated by one of the nation’s most powerful corporations as an ideal family. . .in an advertisement designed with the whole country in mind.

Still, to most sane people, this whole notion of allowing gay couples to adopt is ridiculous. Yet, people accept it and the chattering class tells us how great of parents same-sex couples are—all while insinuating that any White family that has too many kids must be some kind of creepy cult.

Data, naturally overlooked by the media, supports the instinctual notion that there’s something inherently wrong with the situation Wells Fargo praises. One recent study conclusively shows that children raised by same-sex couples are four times more likely to have emotional problems as children raised by traditional couples. This prompted Think Progress to attack it as flawed, but the only issues they could find were minor quibbles, such as the fact that the same-sex couples studied were mostly unmarried. But the liberal blog fails to tell us how that would change the circumstances and fails to mention that gay marriage is a very recent phenomenon in the United States, which would entail an infinitesimally smaller and virtually useless sample size. Besides, Think Progress seems to consider marriage a meaningless concept when applied to other situations. Talk about flawed reasoning.

Regardless of the pitfalls of gay adoption, the worst part of this ad is how a spokeswoman for Wells Fargo characterized it: it’s just another soulless, substance-less pitch to get more customers for their company.

"The notion of all of these ads is really telling stories to create a sense of togetherness," said Jamie Moldafsky, chief marketing officer for Wells Fargo. She said one out of every three households in the country is a Wells Fargo customer, and the company wanted its ads to reflect the diversity of all its customers.

Other ads will show a Hispanic truck driver and his daughter, an older African-American woman and her friends, and two others feature families of Asian descent.

"Our hope is that in doing this we can talk to our customers more and engage with them about what's important to them," Moldafsky said. . .

Moldafsky said she's aware that some people may take issue with the ads, but the company is firm in its commitment to diversity and inclusion.

"We understand it may not resonate with everybody, but it taps into something important and universal, and is an expression of our commitment to the LGBT community at large," she said.

But the bank's new ads aren't entirely altruistic.

She also pointed out the large number of same-sex couples now raising children -- a target audience that Wells Fargo is trying to capture. Nearly 40% of same-sex couples between the ages of 22 and 55 are raising children, according to census data.

Plus, she said, the story behind the ad is universal.

"They want to be the best parents they can be," she said. "That's true of all adoptive parents."

I partially agree with Moldafsky—there is a universal message here. No matter how wrong or stupid the latest social justice trend may be, corporations will commodify it and sell it to the public for a pretty penny. It pays well to be on the side of progress.