Margaret Eby
December 24, 2014 8:13 am

We dare you to get through this commercial without getting a little bit weepy. Tylenol’s new holiday commercial has all the usual elements of one aimed at pulling your heartstrings: It’s about family, and traditions, and supporting the people you love (as well as, obviously, selling painkillers to people).

But what’s remarkable about the family pictured in the Tylenol is that it isn’t the one typically shown in commercials like these. The Tylenol commercial opens with Norman Rockwell’s granddaughter Abigail talking about his work and the American family, which is “expanding and blossoming, so it’s not a rigid, fixed picture.”

Then the ad focuses on the Beser Carr Schneider Music Family, a blended, same-sex, Jewish family talking about raising their children and what’s important to them for the holidays. It’s a really touching portrait of a family that’s far away from the Rockwell nuclear family, but just as heartwarming. The commercial is exploring what an American family is in these times, and it’s wonderful that they’re including models that don’t fit the framework we’re used to in the advertising world. It’s a beautiful message, and one that more companies should take to heart. Not all families look the same.

“Family is what you make it out to be,” Abigail Rockwell closes the commercial. Hear, hear. Let’s hope the new year brings us more messages like this one.