Tag Archives: anti-gay advertising

(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!

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Should Gay Men Take Offense To Ultra-Masculine Ads?

The latest episode of Bryan Safi’s video series That’s Gay pokes fun at the anti-sissyness that seems to be pervading television commercials for everything from light beer to Arby’s these days.  “Just a couple of years ago, the metrosexual was king (or queen),” says Safi.  “But now American advertisers have a clear, new message: ‘Masculinity is in crisis, so bring back the real men and smear those queers.'”

In response to the proliferation of metrosexuality in American media over the past decade, there certainly does appear to be a return to masculinity in male-targeted advertisements, but are these ads really anti-gay?  Is this something gay men should take offense to?  My first reaction is to say that anyone who takes offense to these commercials is simply lacking a healthy sense of humor, but at the same time, I understand the argument.

Tapping in to mens’ masculine sides by making more effeminate men the butt of the joke is nothing new, but does that make it okay?  Safi’s social commentary, blithe as it may be, raises some interesting questions about our culture’s tendency to not only accept this practice, but to also find humor in it.