Category Archives: Advertisements

The good, the bad, and the ugly in gay-targeted advertisements

(Anti) Gay Advertisements #24 and #25: Miller Coors


If you watch as much TV as I do, you’ve undoubtedly noticed Miller Lite’s “Man Up” series of commercials (example below), which outwardly ostracize males who demonstrate feminine tendencies (like sporting a thong or wearing skinny jeans).  More recently Miller launched the commercial above for its High Life brand, which carries on the company’s apparent opposition to gender diversity.

There are numerous examples of ads in the American media landscape that drip with homophobia, but what makes these commercials notable is that Miller Lite was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award in Advertising in 2010 for a series of print ads the brand ran (thanks to Queerty for first pointing this out).

I find it sad that Miller Coors has resorted to low brow attacks on gender diversity to sell booze, especially when the company has historically demonstrated great support for the GLBT community (recently scoring a 100% in HRC’s 2011 Corporate Diversity Index).  What I find incredibly ironic out about the situation is that Miller Lite is generally considered by beer connoisseurs to be flavorless watered-down swill – nothing manly about that!


Gay Advertisements #22 and #23: Doritos Goes Gay For The Super Bowl?

The gay blogosphere has been abuzz today after Doritos leaked two gay-themed commercials.  Gawker reports Frito Lay, the maker of Doritos, plans to air the ads during the Super Bowl.  However, Towleroad says the ads are just submissions in the “Crash the Super Bowl” contest, which I think is probably the case (Doritos will air the winning commercial during the Super Bowl).

It doesn’t appear that either ad is a finalist in the contest.  I’m not surprised, not only because they’re a little too controversial for a mainstream corn chips brand, but because they aren’t particularly good.  The production quality is there, but there’s nothing new/fresh/original about the ads, and the humor is a little lazy.

Gay Advertisement #21: Treetopia Makes Christmas Gayer

I don’t know what to say about this Treetopia billboard that recently went up in Los Angeles.  I’ll let the tree’s description from the Treetopia website speak for itself:

“My first home was in a Vacation Bible School classroom where the students were learning all about Noah’s Ark and God’s promise to never again destroy the earth. Life was full of love; children sat close to me to be around the happiness that comes from rainbows and Christmas. I got to play the rainbow in all the church pageants. I was happy.

But one day the new minister’s wife ran in screaming, “That tree is a bad influence on my little boy!!!” She pointed a shaking finger at me, and two burly members of the congregation picked me up and put me in a closet-like box. I didn’t understand what the uproar was about. After all, I’m Just a Rainbow Tree.

A few months and a cross country trek later, those closet doors were thrown open and I alighted onto the floor of a thrift store in San Francisco. A crowd gathered around; their “oohs” and “aahs” and “Fabulous!” escalated until they hoisted me onto their shoulders. I was paraded up and down Castro Street, and soon a line formed behind me as we sang “Somewhere over the Rainbow”. I was so overwhelmed by the immediate acceptance and love that I just burst into tears.

My place is still in that thrift store, in the center window, still drawing crowds with my 7 foot stature and cheerful looks (I don’t need lights!). Oh! Listen to this – Last Saturday a woman ran into the store and threw her arms around me. I’m used to that, but I was surprised when she whispered, “I’m sorry”. When she pulled away, I saw who it was: The minister’s wife, and right behind her was her little boy, wearing the loudest colors I’d ever seen on a child. “If wearing bright colors makes him happy,” she said, taking his hand, “then he can wear bright colors.” We all hugged, and live happily after ever.”

Gay Advertisement #20: Antonio Federici Ad Banned In Britain

This ad for Italian gelato maker Antonio Federici, which ran in Britain’s Look magazine, has been banned by U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority.  The ASA claims to have received all of six (count ’em six!) complaints about the ad, and ordered the ice cream company not to run the ad again.

“We considered the portrayal of the two priests in a sexualized manner was likely to be interpreted as mocking the beliefs of Roman Catholics and was therefore likely to cause serious offense to some readers,” the ASA said in a statement.  Antonio Federici responded by saying the ad did not mock the church but “reflected the grave troubles they considered affected the Catholic Church.”

The gelato maker launched the ad in the latest edition of Look in retaliation to the ASA’s banning of another ad the magazine ran last month (seen below).

The ad featuring the pregnant nun wasn’t the first time Antonio Federici ran into problems with British authorities either.  Last year, the ads seen below were also banned by the ASA.

I imagine we’ll see an equally offensive ad coming in the next edition of Look as well. The Italians are obviously taunting the Brits and their sill advertising standards, and I assume the ASA will eventually threaten a huge fine to get them to stop.  But until then, Antonio Federici will continue to run the controversial ads and enjoy the copious free publicity and likely surge in sales that come with it.

Gay Advertisement #19: Miller Lite

2010 GLAAD Media Awards In Advertising Nominee

This ad from Miller Lite, titled “Great To See You Out,” was nominated in the Outstanding Print Campaign – LGBT Market category.  The GLAAD Media Awards in Advertising will take place tomorrow, September 29th, in New York City.  Check back soon for a list of winners!

Gay Advertisement #18: Progressive Insurance

2010 GLAAD Media Awards In Advertising Nominee

Progressive Insurance has been nominated in the Outstanding Print Campaign – LGBT Market category for its “Works in Progress” campaign, which features historical works of art featuring gay couples.  For more on this campaign, read the article I wrote for the June/July issue of Echelon Magazine (page 24).

Gay Advertisement #17: Ikea Austria

Ikea’s no stranger to marketing to gays, but I’m not quite sure what to write about this commercial out of Austria.  I don’t know whether to praise its progressiveness for featuring a bisexual character or criticize it for blatantly condoning adultery (not to mention how it perpetuates the stereotype of the horny bisexual).  In any case, it’s an awfully peculiar commercial.  Maybe Austrians just have very quirky senses of humor???