Campbell’s Cleverly Used Star Wars in Gay-Themed Ad, but the Comments Are on the Dark Side

Brand heads into Honey Maid territory

Campbell Soup Company's newest ad, featuring its Star Wars inspired soup, is centered around a popular line from the movie, although maybe not in the way that you'd think. The 30-second ad features a father feeding his son, and quoting Darth Vader's "I am your father." But then there's a clever twist that makes the spot unique.

Watch it here. Spoilers below.

The spot, by BBDO New York, is part of a new campaign themed "Made for Real, Real Life." And it aims to celebrate the changing face of the American family in much the same way Droga5's Honey Maid work has done.

"We wanted to show actual families, which means families of different configurations, cultures, races and life choices," said Yin Woon Rani, vice president of marketing activation, in a statement. "The American family is changing faster than at any time in recent history and it is now a true mosaic of shapes and sizes, all bonded through love, and love of good food."

The tagline is a little puzzling to me. "Real, real life"? It feels a little like "Real women aren't a size 0"—the popular phrase that is supposed to empower women but ends up denigrating smaller women. But the campaign's intent is to hold a mirror up to "real life" and capture the diversity of today's families.

The response has been mostly positive, with loud outliers, of course—including some who seem extra agitated that by linking Star Wars to a gay theme, Campbell's is somehow ruining their childhood memories.

Somewhat surprisingly, Campbell's did not turn off the YouTube comments for this one. And if you need to a clue as to how some commenters are handling the appearance of a gay couple and their adopted multiracial son in the year 2015, just remember that we live in a time when Donald Trump is considered a viable candidate for president.

Roo Powell is freelance contributor to Adweek.