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Ads We Like: HP gives an exercise in what makes up a ‘typical’ American family

HP is continuing to make strides in its pledge to highlight diversity both in and outside of its workforce. With a new campaign called ‘All-American Family’, the tech company shows how it embraces every type of family.

On 21 July, HP gathered 13 families in Chicago – all ages, races, ethnicities, genders and sexual orientation. A smaller group was asked to put together what they thought was an 'all-American' family unit and were filmed doing it. The people they grabbed from the group and put together closely resembled those you’d see in framed pictures at the store – traditional man, woman and children.

In fact, none of the 'choosers' got it right – an African American lesbian mom and her baby were placed with an African American man married to a white woman, and so on – which was a good lesson not only to the choosers but all the other people in the room who were, in fact, part of real families themselves and checked their own bias after seeing what happened.

Pictures were then printed on HP printers and put on the wall to live forever and tell the stories of all types of families. Many of the participating families stated that they hoped to use the exercise to teach their kids about bias.

HP purposefully used the words 'all American' to further prove the implicit bias most of us bring to our work and personal lives. Given the heated political dialogue around changing demographics, the timing was also purposeful, stated the company.

“Family Portraits highlights the beauty and range in today’s ‘All-American’ family,” said Carlos Ricardo, HP’s head of print marketing, Americas. “These families are a portrait of our customers and we learned that they all treasured both the experience and the printed photos."

HP has made strides in highlighting diversity and inclusion over the last few years with its ‘Reinvent Mindsets’ movement, starting in-house by staging a recruitment campaign that has so far included pushes for people of color, women, LGBTQ and Latino segments.

The family aspect has also been highlighted in its product ads.

The latest video will launch with an extensive research study HP commissioned with dozens of statistics.

For instance, 74% of respondents identified an All-American family as being white, heterosexual with children – whereas only 35% of respondents fit that profile.

In addition, HP found that eight in 10 Americans agreed it was difficult to define an all-American family because America is so diverse and that 68% of LGBTQ people considered their families All-American v 58% who believed others would describe them in same way.

95% of those surveyed have a strong, close relationship with their family, but one in three said they had cut ties with family members because of 'intolerance'.

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