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MTV/Take A Stand Against Discrimination - Skateboarders

Company: Viacom
    View Company Scorecard | Contact Company
Brand: MTV/Take A Stand Against Discrimination
Ad Title: Skateboarders
Business Category: Media Outlets: Broadcasters-Publishers-Online-Games-Music
Media Outlets: Television
Country: United States
Region: North America
Agency: Public Interest Productions/Radical Media
Year: 2001
Target: Mainstream
Ad Spotter: Matthew Hilliard

Two serious-looking young guys in baseball caps arrive with a big tool kit, blocks of wood and some blueprints. They begin sawing, drilling and hammering.

They build a half-pipe for skateboarding and, when it's complete, give each other a macho handshake and then pull each other forward for a sensual kiss. The text then offers, "You never know."

The young audience of MTV of course respects the idea of skaters, but would not expect them to be gay. The kiss is an unexpected juxtaposition against the macho handshake, thus breaking stereotypes.

MTV has set the gold standard among all advertisers for the most ads that refer to the community, more than 25 since 1996, in addition to carrying numerous gay ads from other companies and running its own supportive gay-inclusive programming.


Paul , Bayonne, NJ
Great commericial. Sexy and quick, perfect for Gen Y's. It gets the point across without preaching...and without dialog. I find totally visual ads very powerful and memorable. Kudos MTV.

Tom L. , New York City
This ad is truly amazing. I wonder what the reaction has been from MTV viewers?

Phillip T. , Houston
WELL DONE MTV...Seeing is not always believing.

Mark , St. Louis
I think that this is a great commercial. Good job MTV.

Vicente , Bayard, New Mexico
THANK YOU MTV!!! Thank you for helping to break the stereotypes. This is a great commercial. It shows that gay men are just like every other man and like the same things. Keep up the good work.

Ryan , West Jefferson, OH
Without a doubt, this one is my favorite MTV ad. Watching the stereotypes being shattered is phenomenal. Thank you.

Rachelle , Portland, OR
I applaud you, MTV! Thanks for helping the world's youth grow into open-minded young adults!

Bret , Dallas
What a cool ad. We need more of these. MTV has been a major ally of ours for years. They're great.

Anthony , Howell, NJ
This is an awesome commecial, probably the best thing MTV has done since MTV2. Having alot of skater/punk friends, this really kewl to see on TV. Keep the good stuff comming!

Rae , Montreal
Sexy and sweet. A really cute ad.

Karoli , Syracuse, NY
This ad is amazing. For those who oppose to it -- they need to open their eyes and come out from under their rock of ignorance.

Ben , Upland, CA
Excellent ad that shows that we all can work and play together without having to feel different. There should be more ads out there that show that we are no different than everyone else.

Darus Walls , Milwaukee
This is one of best ads yet and the best angle is that it focuses on a younger generation that's not afraid to be strong, be who they are and get done with what they have to get done.

Rachael , Miami
My girlfriend told me about this commercial and I'm truly disappointed that I haven't seen it yet. Kudos to MTV, though, done tastefully and honestly.

Troy Forbes , Halifax, NS, Canada
As a longtime skateboarder who also happens to be queer, I was really pleased to see this ad: talk about a demographic that never gets represented!

Ricky , Harlingen, TX
I think this is the best commercial I've seen on this entire site. It breaks down stereotypes about being femmy and gay (not that it's bad, it's just what most people think we are like). As well as being sexy, funny, and uniquely smart. It's also marketed to a younger audience which is nice since most gay or gay themed ads have always had older males in it, 25-30 or up. I wish the ad business would keep it up like this!

Alic Simard , Southwestern Ontario, Canada
I have just returned from a 4-week return to France, where homosexuality is NOT viewed with the same jaded eye. It is a common topic on television. I am pleased to see MY continent joining the 20th century, even if it's 50 years (too) late. I parenthesize (too), because it's never TOO late.

Tyler C. , St. Louis
I do think it is a very good idea. However, I discovered the ad on this site while researching the effects of advertising on gay youth. I think this simultaneously sends a message that is atypical for gay teens to be macho and/or skaters. So I guess I am rather mixed in my opinion.

Scott Alamar , Chicago
Great ad. Finally an ad and commentary that doesn't fall into cliches or use the "gay acceptable" stereotypes--nothing blatantly sexual...no dancing penises, no implications of a sexually compulsive pathology.

Simon T. , Manchester, England
Great ad. I wish more networks could realise that as a community we are very diverse and not just the same old stereotypes! Fit men too!! Well done MTV!

Elian , Miami, FL
This commercial makes me sick. You cant find two queers who could construct a halfpipe. I'd like to see the two buddies skate the ramp. This wouldn't happen, it is too dangerous for these feminine men. Stick to decorating houses and don't try to impose your sub-cultural views on innocent children.

Jeff Eastwood , New Orleans
My only complaint is that it's not longer!

Alistair , Manchester, England
I watch a lot of MTV and I think this ad is grea.! It's short, direct and gives a good image...... Oh, and the boys are seriously cute!

Duy Nguyen , Tucson, AZ
I found Elian's comment to be incredibly ignorant. How exactly does one's sexual orientation determine his or her physical and mental abilities/interests? Saying that gay men should stick to decorating houses is just as offensive as saying women should stick to house cleaning and that African-Americans should stick to robbing banks.

Lorenzo , Whittier, CA
WOW! Fantastic. If only we had this kind of stuff when I was growing up. It takes all kinds to make the world go around!!

Nina , San Antonio, TX
Well done, MTV! This is a great way to break down the walls of stereotypes.

Vanessa McDaniel , Columbus, OH
Just wonderful! Figures it's from MTV. They've been way ahead of the curve on these types of ads.

Nortylak , Ann Arbor, MI
Brilliant for several reasons: it dislodges common stereotypes, has a silent yet powerful message, and it's quick. Genius on the part of MTV.

Matthaus , Roblin, Manitoba, Canada
I love it so much. I watched it over and over again for at least 30 times. I think the guys are very adorable, very sexy kiss and breaks the stereotypes that gay men would not be skateboarders nor would be able to work on construction.

Lancelot Calderon , Denver
I loved this ad. It truly shows the reality of homosexuality. I personally am someone who has no idea, and when people see me with a guy, they can't tell. It honestly shows that "you never know".

John , Sewickley, PA
A perfect approach to a sometimes fragile subject. Way to bust the stereotypes! The lack of dialogue only makes it that much more powerful.

Matthew Hilliard , Pleasanton, OR
I was the "ad spotter" for this ad, but haven't returned to this site in like two years. Amazing to see all the comments and that it is one of the most viewed ads on the site. Have to say that the first time I saw this ad it was like 11:00 at night and I was sitting with my boyfriend of the time and we just looked at each other. Up to that point I hadn't seen such a forward ad, it was quick, sexy and catchy, and completely no holds-barred. Kudos to MTV and the Commercial Closet!

Carol , Boulder, CO
All I can really say is thank you! It's time to put my money where my heart is.

Picasso L. , Milan, Italy
This ad definitely breaks the stereotype of toughness and includes the sensuality of homosexuality. It is indescribable!

Jean-Marc Azaarfar , Ottawa, ONT, Canada
Brilliantly well thought out and choreographed.

Bruce Murrie , Washington D.C.
Wish it lingered a bit more on each scene, especially the kiss. My 22-year-old, straight daughter liked the ad a lot and brought it to my attention.

Syd , PA
I loved this commercial. It really did break the stereotype barrier. I'm 15 and I'm gay. Everyone I know knows, and I get called names all the time. People tell me to go try on dresses. I have a job where I work nonstop lifting things and moving things. I'd like to know why gays are always put into a feminine catagory. I'm very lonely and this ad makes me feel better.

Katie , Oakville, ONT, Canada
Loved this ad so much - even though I'm a lesbian. I think this ad is awesome. My friends (mostly gay punk/skater boys) and I came across it when surfing the net, and absolutely love it!

unknown , Stow, OH
Watching similar, clearly well-intended ads with my straight (homophobic) roommates and seeing their reactions, I feel the caption "You never know" is indicative of a warning like, "Watch out--you never know."

Styopa , Montreal, QBC, Canada
I was taken in by this ad. It's sexy and nice.

Alex , Perth, Australia
The ad is brilliant. Simple and powerful. It's the kind of commercial required to bring about the kind of change necessary.

Mathew Moss , Newcastle, Staffordshire UK
Are you people complete idiots? This ad is entirely wrong in the way it attempts to break down strereotypical and homophobic attitudes between youngsters. I live in a very narrow minded country, England. Skateboarders get into fights everyday just for being skateboarders. Now there going to be singled out and beaten for being gay skateboarders? The design team who brainstormed the idea for this ad must have been outsourced from the 99 cents store!

Bob Scerbo , North Arlington, NJ
This commercial is horrendous. Leave it to MTV to try to combine anything obscure with homosexuality.

Dan A. , Boise, ID
This is, without a doubt, my favorite gay-themed ad of all time. That quick handshake/kiss at the end just speaks a billion words about stereotypes, acceptance, and what life is all about. Bravo MTV and whoever put this commercial together.

Lauren , Chicago, IL
I absolutely love this ad. Not only is it hot and great for teens, the message is amazing. It shows that not all stereotypes are true and looks can be deceiving. I really just love it. Props to MTV even though I don't remember ever seeing it aired.

Kenn , Miami, FL
MTV does it [i]again[/i]! [i]Kudos[/i] for your out and proud portayal of gay and lesbian themes and striking out against discrimination against [i]my people[/i]! Thank you a hundred thousand times for standing up for what is right. Thank you for being anti-hatred, anti-bigotry and anti-descrimination. The young people of this country watch you and recieve all your messages. Thanks for sending them messages telling them it is cool and very OK to be gay or lesbian. It helps them to counter the negative stereotypes and to accept themselves and be proud of who they are. MaxKudos!

Kiscia , Norway
No doubt: This ad is, and will be, my all-time favorite. I've watched it like ten times in a row now. So wicked cute!

Terrence , Alberta, Canada
WOW! I wish this message was put out years ago. Powerful. You are led to believe the ad is a commercial for "Snap" power tools and then startled to see the macho handshake turn into a passionate kiss. Gay people want to see themselves in their media portrayed as real and regular people, not as stereotyped caricatures. The ad shows us you simply never know who is gay.

Scott , Norway
This ad is the coolest ever. This is what its really like, I mean not everyone is fem or anything, but I totally love this ad. High 5 to MTV, this rocks!

Ginga , Galiano Island, B.C., Canada
As a avid skateboarder for more than 30 years (started when I was 8, am 39 now) I must say how cool this ad is. The media portrays skateboarders as tuff punks who are into sex, beer, aggression and competition. The true skateboarder knows this is not true. Most true skate heads are chill, open minded and often rather spiritual as the board does teach one about focus and meditation. I also know a lot of skaters who like having sex; gay or straight. So thumbs up to you for this top choice ad!!!

Christina , Springfield, OH
Oh yeah, MTV did it again! Sex sells, right? Hey, if you're gay, then you're gay but I don't think it's appropriate that a young child, such as my own, should be exposed to anything such as this ad. Half of you young folks who probably liked this ad, and many ads like it, probably aren't even old enough to rent porno movies. To me, this ad is like a porno movie and shouldn't be on public channels.

Victoria Tag , Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Simple, direct and sweet. Homosexuality isn't something to be condescended upon.

Duncan , Passau, Germany
This ad merely shows two young people kissing, something that regularly occurs in numerous films and television programmes, even those specifically aimed at children. Furthermore, it should be pointed out that in this particular ad MTV is not trying to sell anything.

Coal , Hastings, New Zealand
Being a 17-year-old homosexual and seeing that advert is truly awesome. It is honest, beautiful and clearly speaks the minds of so many people such as myself. Muchas gracias MTV!

Jazz , Toronto, ON
This company is truly moving in the right direction. I've watched this ad over and over. I think its brilliant, and unexpected - just the point the company was trying to make. Absolutely Brilliant!

Gee , Preston, England
In response to Mathew Moss from Newcastle, Staffordshire UK's comment: Narrow minded country?
Skateboarders getting into fights everyday? I know a lot of skateboarders. They don't get into fights with other people every day because they skate.
I dont think England is the one thats "narrow minded." And I think the ad is fab.


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