The Commercial Closet.
October 8, 2002 7:49 AM   Subscribe

The Commercial Closet. The world's largest collection of gay advertising.
posted by adrober (15 comments total)
This could have been interesting artcle, but they alieneated me right of the bat in two different ways.

One, they were naive enough to belive this:" Ads with same-sex kisses are one way companies sometimes show they embrace diversity." No, it's a way for companies to show that they've discovered that gay people have money and buy stuff is all. It may be a nice peice of recognition for gay people, but don't kid yourself that it's out of nobility.

Two, anyone who gets bent out of shape of ads as harmless as these two just comes across as nit-picky bordering on paranoid.

Sorry but that's how it comes across to me.
posted by jonmc at 8:03 AM on October 8, 2002

...they were naive enough to belive this:" Ads with same-sex kisses are one way companies sometimes show they embrace diversity." No, it's a way for companies to show that they've discovered that gay people have money and buy stuff is all. It may be a nice piece of recognition for gay people, but don't kid yourself that it's out of nobility.

Jon, you're right--we became a desirable target market about 15 years ago, but the companies are still taking (financial) chances by showing images that can be construed as gay or gay-friendly...the Applebee's thread a few days ago is a good example of the backlash that can happen--they backpedaled immediately and disavowed when right-wing groups called to complain.

And meanwhile there's still a boycott on Disney from the Southern Baptists because of domestic partner healthcare and "gay day" celebrations, and Disney never ever does gay imagery in their advertising....
posted by amberglow at 8:12 AM on October 8, 2002

i forgot to add re: Applebees--and they didn't even show gay people in their ad-it only ran during a show with gay content
posted by amberglow at 8:14 AM on October 8, 2002

I'm always very suspicious of homophobia, perhaps outward aggression is a sign of inward repression. Yeah and I think the two ads mentioned by jonmc are not a big deal.
posted by johnnyboy at 8:31 AM on October 8, 2002

Jeepers. They're upset by the ad where the Dunkin Donuts guy dresses as a woman.

"Gay or transgendered people are shown as hustlers, queens, pornographers, murderers, pedophiles and greeted with shock, repulsion and occasional violence here. "

Um, he's not transgendered. He's disguising himself as a woman.
posted by glenwood at 8:43 AM on October 8, 2002

It's a great idea, but the one example that I was willing to spend time downloading was very disappointing. I'm in Greece, and I've seen the Baileys' "Thief" ad dozens of times, but never noticed anything unusual, so I had to download the clip to see if it was a different version... it doesn't appear to be, and if this is an example of showing gay couples in advertising, I'm afraid the industry has a long way to go.

Also, in many countries people hug and/or kiss each other as a normal greeting between friends, or to make a point in conversation (if this doesn't make sense, think of something like somebody saying, "ahh! you devil, you're just too smart/sentimental/silly aren't you!" and then grabbing the other and kissing or hugging them)... If this is supposed to be a gay thing, then just about everybody I know here is gay.
posted by taz at 9:00 AM on October 8, 2002

y'know: i've been trying to figure out something about a recent volkswagen commerical (i actually ran across this site before, because it has quite a few volkswagen commercials on it..) I've seen, several times now, a Jetta ad which is utterly confounding to me, and seems, possibly pointed at a gay demographic, or possibly not.

since i've been unable to find it online to show to folks, i'll try to describe it.

There's an attractive man shopping for waters and chips and whatnot in a convience store of a gas station. The woman at the counter, who rings up his purchases, totally checks him out. Then, he goes outside, and another guy (who's got the same abercrombie and fitch look he has) steps out of passenger side of the jetta. they exchange "a look" -- which, is well, what's odd, because it's contrasted (in my mind) with the woman checking him out -- and then they switch sides (apparently the first guy was driving), and the tagline comes up "The Volkswagen Jetta: Just Right".

what the hell is going on with this commercial? i'm sorry for semi-shilling for VW here, but none of it makes sense -- it doesn't even tip its hand to *not* making sense. Am I totally daft? Am I missing something? about three weeks ago i ran an intensive search on google and absolutely *nothing* came up after about a half-hour or so (really, it's really been bothering me -- do you know how much those commercials cost?) and so i'm guessing i'm either ignorant or insane.

(also: may i say that site has the slowest and most annoying popup? it won't let you do anything until the damn thing pops up, and it's taking like 45 seconds to do so on my machine).
posted by fishfucker at 9:32 AM on October 8, 2002

fish: I think deal is that both are sunburned on one side only. The driver on the left and the passenger on the right. If you look at the car, it's windows are down. I got from this commercial that they were having so much fun driving their Jetta, that they lost track of time and got sunburned. In order to equalize the sunburn, they switched sides. The "checking out" was the result of the guy being only burned on one side, with a noticeable edge line running down his face.
posted by plemeljr at 9:43 AM on October 8, 2002

ah, so that would be ignorant.

in my defense, i have a really small antenna-powered tv which is prone to ghosting.

also: i was really drunk, yeah, that's it.
posted by fishfucker at 10:09 AM on October 8, 2002

thanks for clearing that up though.
posted by fishfucker at 10:09 AM on October 8, 2002

on a side note: Spongebob's been outed!
posted by amberglow at 10:40 AM on October 8, 2002

fishfucker, I have exceptionally clear cable and I always thought it was a gay-friendly ad. Plus I was drunk. Never even noticed that they were tanned on one side until someone told me.

I guess it's just that wonderful, amazing ability we all have that lets us completely ignore advertising. Hopefully it comes from a gland, one that can be cloned. hundreds of times.
posted by stavrogin at 11:19 AM on October 8, 2002

This site drove some lunchtime discussion, and resulted in a query for Mefites who watch more TV than I do (which would be, by definition, just about 99% of Mefites, I think): there is (or, there is claimed to be...) a commercial for a digital camera in which a man and his partner are sharing the bathroom, the man takes pictures of his noticeably not thinning hair and emails them, he tells (his? the couple's?) son he's sending the picture to Uncle (somebody).

Vague, yes I know. But does anybody recognize whatever the hell this is? I tried the obvious camera makers on the site linked above and didn't find it...
posted by JollyWanker at 1:41 PM on October 8, 2002

glenwood: Your quote is from a definition of the "negative" symbol used by the site. It wasn't directed at that ad alone. To further quote the definition:

"While some in the gay community now accept classic gay stereotypes like queens and leathermen as "diversity" -- others do not. "

I think by including this ad their point was that some believe "men are funny if they crossdress and speak in high-pitched voices" is a gay stereotype. By showing shocked reactions to Fred the Baker the ad campaign says that crossdressing is shocking.

I think they addressed the issue better with this ad: "The ad doesn't really deal with transsexuals, just cross-dressing apparently "straight" men. While the narrator seems to indicate acceptance, the imagery of stunned onlookers doesn't seem to support it, providing a mixed message for anyone different."

Personally, I think assuming a crossdresser is gay is the stereotype.
posted by ?! at 4:57 PM on October 8, 2002

Jolly Wanker...that's a Sony ad. The guy's kid snaps a pick to email to the uncle {the guy's brother}. This ad struck me as being too close to home since I'm the brother losing his hair whereas my brutha has his intact. He doesn't send me pictures on my birthday, but does remind me of my impending baldness way too often.

There's another execution with the guy and son creating a dvd showing old home movies of the guy and his wife on their anniversary. It has a Leo Sayer soundtrack that makes mom cry.
posted by birdherder at 8:09 PM on October 8, 2002

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