Oreo sparks fierce debate on Facebook as it comes out in support of gay pride

Cookie brand Oreo has surprised many, won new fans and enraged Christians, as it has effectively taken a political stand on its Facebook page after posting a pro-gay pride promotion.

The pro-pride rainbow picture you can see is the first in a series of 100 “current event” promos to be released to mark Oreo’s centennial celebrations.

This is hugely significant and brave move for such a family oriented US brand. Like most brands marketing and politics are usually seen as not to mix. It is controversial area, fraught with difficulty, and brands would usually choose to walk in the opposite direction when it was so obviously going to stir up political and religious controversy.

This is no small thing either in terms of brands and social media. The Kraft-owned Oreo brand is a major deal on Facebook. It has 26.9 million plus fans and this has won it tens of thousands more as the gay community around the world got behind the image and shared it on their own Facebook pages.

It has also received many hundreds of positive comments and those seem to out weigh the negative ones.

Overall, the post also drew a massive amount of support in the form of 14,800 shares and 87,000.

These two posts praising Oreo are typical of the many supportive comments you can read on its Facebook page:

Oreos, as soon as I heard you posted a picture of a pride oreo I liked your page. Thank you for supporting a community that is full of so much love, but receives so much hate. And I hope you find comfort in knowing though you may have lost customers and/or fans over that brave move, you definitely gained a loyal customer here.

Oreo, because of your stance on gay rights, and because of your general deliciousness, I have decided to like your page! Keep up the good work, and screw the haters.

Of the negative comments some hit out that Oreo’s market base is ‘”FAMILIES’. how do you get a child? think about it. You are alienating your market base”. Others posted that they were “unliking page and the rest of the Kraft family” of products or that  ”I’m never eating Oreos again. This is just disgusting”.

Other negative comments ranged from “Guess what I’m boycotting now? Don’t get political Oreo” to “Being gay is totally wrong And should be a crime”.

But the positive story is spinning across the web. The story has gone viral with the rainbow image and some comments being passed around the web such as this one which was posted on Reddit:

As Ad Week notes while there’s likely to “be plenty of fallout for Oreo over this simple photo post, at least the brand has shown it’s not afraid to tackle a thornier issue than ‘Do you ever think of Oreo cookies when drinking milk?’.

While risky this looks like an overall win for Oreo. And in a US presidential election year.