Ideological Criticism of “Folgers Coffee” 
Commercials
Folgers, an American coffee company created in 1850 (Folgers History) has been a major player in the American coffee industry. Folgers became a subsidiary underneath J. M. Smucker Co. in 2008 for $2.9 billion. (Folgers) Folgers is particularly recognized by their 1984 debut jingle “The best part of waking up, is Folgers in your cup”. From 1984 to present day, Folgers has run a massive televised advertising campaign costing millions of dollars. I reached out to  Folgers corporate office to obtain an actual number that was spent on television marketing for the campaign between 1984 and 1999 but they declined to comment. "In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the [coffee] industry had seen mass consolidation and mergers, which resulted in more ad spending for the major brands" (COFFEE). 
In this essay I employ ideological criticism to look at Folgers’ television advertisements, “The best part of waking up, is Folgers in your cup” campaign, from 1984 throughout 1999 to show the lack of diversity in portrayed family life, thus, an ideology of a white, upper middle class family as “America’s family” is reinforced/created. Lastly, I highlight the consequences of this sort of rhetoric and how a more diverse representation of families could’ve helped shape a more inclusive, of all races, ideological view, of who a successful, happy family is. 
For my artifact I choose to look specifically at aired television commercials for the “The Best Part of Waking Up, is Foldgers in Your Cup” advertising campaign debuting in 1984 and even continues today in 2018. More specifically, I only analyzed commercials from the years 1984-1999, the first sixteen years of the campaign. I watched just over thirty, thirty four to be exact, commercials created by Folgers. "Radio and television provided a kind of cultural glue; their programs penetrated nearly every segment of the national population to a degree that even the church in medieval Europe had not achieved." (Television In The United States)
What my data concludes is that white people, particularly white families, are disproportionately represented as the successful, hard-working, happy family (the tones of the commercials are happy, successful and hard working people). I want to also note that only 2 out of the 34 commercials had a black family and in both instances the older son of the family is portrayed as a soldier in the military, arguably a service role, and is the main character (Landcommander1981). 
This is dangerous. By not including a proportionate amount of diversity, these advertisements imply that happy, family oriented, established people in America are mostly upper-middle class, white, heterosexual and typically have a child or two. “Some ideologies are privileged over others, and ideologies that present perspectives different from the privileged ones are sometimes repressed. The result is a dominant way of seeing the world or the development of hegemonic ideology in certain domains.” (Foss 239) The underrepresentation of other races (Black, Latino, Asian, etc.) projects the hegemonic ideology that people in hard-working, healthy, successful family environments (like the people portrayed in these advertisements) are primarily white people. The rhetoric from Folgers’ advertisements has huge potential for negative audience ideology production and/or perpetuating already established ideologies of white supremacy in regards to who is capable of a “a happy family” in America. With a more inclusive body of people portrayed, the old hegemonic ideology of white people being superior or “the successful ones” can begin to be broken down and provide alternative ideology options about who is capable of being happy, successful and family oriented. 

Sources:

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