Folgers "Home for the Holidays" Commercial

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Fandom
Name: Folgers "Home for the Holidays" Commercial
Abbreviation(s): Folgers Incest Commercial, Folgercest, Folgerscest
Creator: Folgers
Date(s): 2009 - present
Medium: commercials
Country of Origin: United States
External Links:
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The Folgers "Home for the Holidays" Commercial, aka Folgers Incest Commercial fandom relates to a 2009 holiday TV commercial by the coffee brand Folgers. In the commercial, a brother and sister reunite for the holidays and are very happy to see each other.

This squicked a lot of viewers, but fans of incest pairings found it hilarious and often reblogged it on Tumblr. A fandom grew from it, fanfiction posted to Archive of Our Own and fanart to Tumblr, and fans often put their favorite incest pairings inside that trope: Sam/Dean, Anna/Elsa, etc.

The fandom is also called Folgercest.

"When Folgers created its 2009 ad about a brother and sister's touching reunion, the brand certainly didn't mean for it to become an anthem for incest. But something about the meaningful looks exchanged between the siblings and their oddly uncomfortable repartee has caused it to be remembered as "the Folgers incest commercial.""[1]
"okay hold up, hold up, you need to see the commercial because the sexual tension in there is INSANE....

In fact, it’s so crazy sexually charged that it’s downright legendary. Which is why people actually ship them. And whenever people ship anyone… you get smutty fanfics on AO3.

Someone brings it up every Christmas, ala “look’s like it’s the season of the incest coffee commercial again!”. It’s probably one of my favourite things. I find it hilarious. And adorable. Except for the incest bit."[2]
"That f**king incesty Folgers commercial has more fanfics than some of my rare pair OTPs"[3]

Fanworks

Archives & Fannish Links

Media Coverage

Besides the jokes, of which there are plenty, the ad also began to circulate for another reason: as inspiration for fan fiction. Artists on DeviantArt paid visual tribute to it, while—as Gawker pointed out in 2012—fan fiction site Archive of Our Own has a whole section devoted to the “Folgers ‘Home for the Holidays’ commercial.” Along with standard stories imagining drawn-out sexual scenarios between the brother and sister, some writers subbed in other characters in their places, like Cersei and Jaime Lannister from Game of Thrones or Kylo Ren and Rey from Star Wars. This fandom is collectively known as “Folgercest” or “Folgerscest.” The most popular of these works is a nearly 10,000-word, incredibly involved story titled “A Home For All Seasons” in which—spoilerthe brother dies.

Alixtii O'Krul (writer, author of the fanfic story “Where the Heart Is”): I don't think [the commercial] particularly registered until people began talking about it on my LiveJournal friends list, probably around 2010 or 2011. We were used to using our shipping goggles to look for the barest hint of incestuous subtext, and so the Folgers commercial registered in a big way.

Someone had the brilliant idea of asking for Folgerscest stories in Yuletide, and the Folgerscest fandom was born. Yuletide is a fan fiction exchange for small and rare fandoms whose reveals happen on December 25. So at least some people are thinking about Christmas when they sit down to make their Yuletide nominations and requests, and that helps to keep Folgerscest alive.

Aza Azdaema (writer, author of the fanfic story Returned Present): I really think Folgercest is a peak example of fandom at its best. It's wildly creative, absurd, transformative. It really has relatively little to do with the source material, and everything to do with the meaning we have ascribed to it.

Most importantly of all, it's joyful and lighthearted. Folgers is sufficiently satirical that it’s spared the “if you enjoy [insert thing here] you’re terrible, and I’m going to pick fights with you about it” treatment, which is frustratingly common in fandom. Everyone seems to be able to laugh about it, and that is very rare in the age of the internet.

Jack Stratton (writer of writingdirty.com, author of the fanfic story “Waking Up): There is a Hallmark movie sappiness to it where you are sort of expecting bad acting and milquetoast dialog. Then you see these two young attractive actors have an oddly palpable sexual chemistry, even though they are playing siblings. Then the vagueness of "you're my present" at the end. It all just has enough to chew on for people looking for subtext or something to make fun of.

Alixtii O'Krul: The commercial has all the right ingredients for 'cesters to glom onto it: two attractive, twenty-something leads, palpable (although presumably unintentional) incestuous subtext, and just the right mixture of sentimentality and “wtf.” Even if read as just a story about platonic siblings, it's still overtly romantic in the older sense of the word: it provides a fantasy of loving and being cherished, of two people who love each other very, very much being reunited after a separation.

Jack Stratton: What makes it good for writing is that there are lots of weird questions left unanswered that a writer can use as hooks. The brevity of the piece is helpful because it introduces a lot of imagery and questions and then doesn't answer any of them. It is a perfect jumping-off point.

Aza Azdaema: While the commercial is not even a full minute long, it offers several obvious places to easily graft on more content. For example, it’s almost universally agreed that the reason the brother joined the Peace Corps was to get as far away from home as possible, trying to outrun his incestuous feelings. What’s in the box remains an open question—I’ve seen more than one work posit that it’s a ring, and our boy is about to propose. And more works than not include some sort of jab at the idea that Folgers is "real coffee."

Jack Stratton: I love coffee. I am really into coffee and Brooklyn coffee culture. So in my story, I tackle the coffee question, because I don't personally like Folgers (or any coffee that isn't freshly roasted and ground right before making it.) My two goals were to play out the subtextual incestuous flirtation and get them drinking better coffee.

References

  1. That Uncomfortable Brother-Sister Ad for Folgers Gets Even Creepier in Parody Extended Version 'We sent you to West Africa for a reason!'
  2. Can you explain the Folgers incest commercial you reblogged, particularly the significance of the archive website attached to it?
  3. char-ientism post on Tumblr