Now is as good of a time as any other to go through this year's criticism of a Folgers Coffee Christmas-themed television advertisement. I've blogged about this ad and reaction to it before, here and here. [This is bumped up from 2012 because the ad is getting talked about again.]
In a nutshell, the ad depicts a brother arriving home after being being away out of the country, and his sister is happy to see him. Some viewers see undertones of incest, because, you know, siblings are supposed to hate each other and fight like cats and dogs all of the time. Since they see undertones of incest, many of them take the opportunity to remind us that they think consensual incest (consanguinamory) between siblings is icky.
There's some language the FCC wouldn't allow on American broadcast radio, just to warn you.
Well, it’s Thanksgiving and officially time to start showing commercials for the holiday season. That includes the creepy commercial that Folgers has been running since 2009… a commercial that may or may not imply incest. “You’re my present this year.” *shudders*Goodness forbid she be happy her brother is home. No, she should be demanding a new smart phone as her present.
Aja Romano offers "How to talk to your family about the Folgers incest commercial" at dailydot.com...
1) Mention the 55,000 people on Tumblr who are totally into it
Twitter user Nicole James had no idea what a celebration she’d kick off on November 18 when she tweeted about the infamous Folgers holiday commercial that got everyone talking in 2009 and resurfaces every year around Thanksgiving:
Twitter and Tumblr user JayGabler shared James’ tweet with Tumblr. Though James was far from the first to read incestuous undertones into the Folgers commercial, Tumblr was a bit slow on the uptake. But with JayGabler providing the YouTube link to the commercial, they caught on fast.I suspect many people expressing disapproval are protesting a little too much. Here are two Tumblr tags about this.
2) Talk about how genetic sexual attraction is totally a ThingSome do. Not all.
When siblings who were separated in childhood meet again as adults, they’re genetically predisposed to find each other attractive. It’s a phenomenon called “genetic sexual attraction,” in which the similarities of two relatives create an increased draw between them.
Humans, even young ones, get weirded out by the idea of finding our brothers and sisters hot.
Then the piece goes on to note how popular incestuous fanfic "shipping" is...
Take for instance the thousands of Supernatural fics focusing on the romantic ship of Sam and Dean Winchester—better known throughout fandom as “Wincest.” Wincest is by far the most popular current sibling romantic pairing in fandom—and fans of the pairing will eagerly tell you why.
Interested in the fictional love of two siblings but aren’t sure Folgers is right for you? Never fear! There’s plenty more where that came from—such as the 72 works featuring variants on the Pevensie family from C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, always a recurring fandom favorite. Simon/River from Firefly is another winning combination. Anime fans know well the lure of Ed/Al from Fullmetal Alchemist. For an old standby, Fanfiction.net has plenty of Weasleycest; if bandom is more to your taste, Waycest, featuring Gerard and Mike Way of My Chemical Romance, is a staple. And if you want a newer take, sample any of the 1,700 Thor/Loki fics on AO3. As always, in fandom, the possibilities are endless.
Max Read at gawker.com has "Kick Off the Christmas Season with Thousands of Words of Incest Fanfic About the Weirdest Folger’s Commercial of All Time."
All of which is more than enough to create a small community (or "fandom") of true believers on the internet. Archive of our Own, one of the premiere fan fiction sites on the internet, has three different stories in its "Folgers 'Home for the Holidays' Commercial" section:
There was much reaction from readers, much of it the usual bigotry expressed towards affectionate siblings. But here are a couple of comments I thought were worth repeating...
How strange that anyone would see incest in this ad! When I first saw it on TV the other day, I loved it. I simply see a sweet moment between a little sister and a big brother... maybe it's because I have a big brother? But, I see nothing incest-y about this ad.