This couple rates among the most grossly stereotyped in the Commercial Closet collection, even while the over-the-top fight escalation is hilariously funny. It picks up on other campaigns from the Swedish furniture retailer about troubled relationships.
While some offer that this ad is intended as a parody of stereotypes, it unfortunately draws humor from no where else. This project offers that while effeminate men are indeed part of the community, marketers can do better than to find humor merely in cliched stereotypes alone -- as they have for so long.
The incident begins with dog hair found in the human hair brush (pink, of course) of one of the two partners. Outraged, he goes to confront his husband, who is sitting with the offending little princess pooch, by stealing the box of chocolates he has been eating (a joke about his weight, of course). Indignant, the husband throws over an expensive bottle of liquor belonging to his partner to shatter on the ground, and the fight begins to spin out of control.
The hairdresser boyfriend then grabs a gold spike heel pump as the other grabs a tacky shirt -- the pump's heel is broken as the shirt is ripped in counter-offense. Next, the chandelier is thrown from the ceiling as a cherished wig is burned and the hairdresser throws the pooch out the window (but it's only the ground floor). The dog's owner rushes over, calling, "Fifi! Fifi!"
The final text asks, "Starting over?"
IKEA has visited gay themes a number of times in its commercials over the years, but it is quite a setback from the same company responsible for the groundbreaking 1994 American campaign that included an average gay couple shopping together, which made news around the world.
Sean Martin , Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Oh c'mon, it's hysterical fun... and who amoung us doesn't know a couple *exactly* like this? Face it: it's no different from the stereotyped straight-couple ads we see used to sell everything from cars to floor cleaner. Give it a break, and laugh.
Gregg , Seattle
I was prepared for the worst after reading the review, but I couldn't stop laughing! While the ad may be very stereotyped, I think that poking fun of these very stereotypes is exactly what we need.
Stuart Carroll , Provincetown, Mass.
These guys are no worse than the stereotypical suburban housewife in curlers, or any other one-dimensional character that commercials use so often. I actually think its a good sign that gays are being included in this group of archetypes. Besides, it's so screamingly hysterical that people will be too busy falling off their couches in laughter to even think about complaining. We need to have a sense of humor, even about ourselves.
Gabe , Portland, Oregon
I don't see this ad as any more "stereotypical" than any of our own queer media (think about Queer as Folk!)...seems like we overuse the word. Sometimes what seems like a stereotype is actually the real deal. I have friends just like this, and I don't think of them as stereotypes. It's dehumanizing in a whole new way. Besides, this ad is clever and hilarious...
Marty Brennan , Chicago
I think this is the best ad on the whole site -- I laughed out loud. Does every portrayal of gay people have to be cartoonishly positive? And WHY is this necessarily negative? Is being an over the top sissy a negative thing? Because I'll have to inform a few close friends that they're being "negative."
Thomas , Knoxville, Tenn.
This ad pokes fun in all the right places. I know this couple several times over - stereotypes exist "mostly" because they are based in some truth. I applaud IKEA for taking a humourous jab at the eccentricities of gay men. I think you would be best served to remove the "negative" label here and put up a big smiley face.
Robina , Singapore
The point here is to illustrate a quarrel scene but fact is quarrels or arguments even all across the board and using two effeminate gays as the focal point is wrong because it can happen to anyone, so I think this is really over-the-top portrayal of those who are on the feminine side. Ikea is saying that "they" are the only ones capable of irrational behaviour.
Cheri , Lincoln Park, Mich.
I thought it was pretty funny, except for the pup out the window. I was just glad to hear it bark after. Phrew!
All in all though, I did laugh.
JJ , Boston
The funniest thing about the commercial is that the song in the background is an English adaptation of a well known Hebrew song that won the international Eurovision contest in 1974 or '75! It is a really cheesy song and has been adapted by nearly every Jewish summer camp and youth movement with their own lyrics. So it was only a matter of time before the corporate world picked up on it. Catchy tune-- really cheesy lyrics.
Kylenne Saizer , Brooklyn, NY
This commercial is hilarious! It wasn't reinforcing stereotypes, it was playfully sending them up. I honestly think that we as queer people really need to learn how to lighten up and laugh at ourselves. Every commercial doesn't need to have some corny "uplifting" image of GLBT people in order to be positive, or good. Some people in our community need to get a sense of humor, so that when there really *are* negative, nasty portrayals of GLBT folks, we are not seen as the proverbial boy who cried wolf.
Michele A. Buchanan , Brooklyn, NY
The gay piece was hilarious, but it did play to a negative stereotype. Because I'm bisexual and have drag-queen friends, I liked it because it was so silly and over the top. But I can see how a straight person who doesn't know a variety of gay men might get the wrong message.
When I saw the Pink video, as a black woman I saw two ghetto fabulous types being destructive and engaing in spousal abuse. It disturbed me because it implied that people from the ghetto, no matter how much money they make, act like animals. The destruction wasn't humorous, and it put strangers in danger. And actually, people do stand for it -- most hip hop artists play into the stereotype of the
thuggish ghetto black who is sexually exploitative and violently out of
control, which is why black and Latino ministers are so disgusted with that kind of music and the videos that are made about them. In fact it's more likely for the average person to see black and Latino actors and performers playing lust and money crazed thuggish gun-toting animals than it is to see white queens being nasty to each other. For many people of color, television is little more than a coon show with a better budget.
Amir , Israel
Great commercial! And even greater to hear the Israeli song to the Eurovision song contest from 1979 :)
Brian , San Diego
How "mainstream" do commercials/movies/etc. about g/l/b/t people have to get for them to be acceptable to a hypersensitive g/l/b/t media corps? I thought it was a funny spot...perfectly acceptable. The reviewer needs to get out more.
Greeff Kotzé , Stellenbosch, South Africa
Mitzi, Felicia and Bernadette might have been a bit over the top sometimes, and yet we never thought "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" was reinforcing stereotypes. Keeping in mind that this ad was aired in progressive Sweden, I don't find it negative at all.
Leslie (male) and Roger , Alameda, CA
We have to agree with other men who loved it. Together 27 years and not anything like the characters, we think the characters in the ad portray "sterotype" behaviors anyone should be able to laugh about, at and with. If someone doesn't at least smile, the ad must be coming very close to home.
S. Davis , Kaneoho, HI
Please! This is funny. I'm not offended at all. You're being over sensitive here.
Jason , Las Vegas
Oh come on -- lighten up -- that was hilarious!
Maximus , Los Angeles
I agree that the ad was funny and might have been acceptable if it had played ONLY to the gay and lesbian population where we're all aware of the diversity among gay men. But I can't help feeling that those who found it acceptable for play to the population at large may have a limited understanding of the nature of stereotyping. Until EVERYONE understands that this type of person represents only a small percentage of the gay male population ads like this only serve to stigmatize all of us.
Troy , Austin, TX
While it may be playing to narrow stereotypes I still found the commercial quite funny -- like a (somewhat more ridiculous) gay 'War of the Roses'.
Rick , Harlingen, TX
This one is hilarious. Actually, everyone is saying 'boyfriend' or 'husband'.. but I didn't see the two men that way. I actually thought they were meant to be roommates -- I mean, there just didn't seem to be any major signs that they were. Either way, it was a funny ad, and while using those stereotypes may not be the best way -- I think it reflected the way a lot of roommates or couples are sometimes. Just using two feminine characters is a bad thing? IKEA's made some groundbreaking pro-gay commercials, so why would you be thinking that they are even trying to offend the gay community? I think it's almost positive, and has a delightful, zany sense of humor!
MDS , West Hollywood, CA
I am usually very critical of the use of gay stereotypes and homophobia in the media, however I found this one very funny. My partner and I have been together 7 years and we've had our share of fights which can seem very humorous or even ridiculous in retrospect. So I identified with this ad quite a bit and didn't find it too offensive. In our first three years together we went "threw" two sets of glasses, several place settings and two glass-shade IKEA lamps! It is more situation comedy or Lucy and Ricky slapstick than derogatory based on my reaction. I think the rating should be raised on this one.
Todd Hill , Montreal
I'm with (previous commenter) Cheri on this one. Save for the clip of poor Fifi being tossed out the window, it's hilarious. Even the most effeminate of gay men can have riotous, tit-for-tat break-ups -- so how do we know we're not seeing a slice of real life?
Bradley Gould , Washington, D.C.
Being equal means being equal in all things. Having a sense of humor shouldn't be anathma to our community but you seem to make it so. Lighten up. By your own actions you are fitting the stereotype of the humorless activists. This commercial was hilarious. Me, my boyfriend and all of our friends thought so. If every commercial that made somebody look silly was considered insulting then we, as a group, would be insulted much less than married couples forced to act excited about dishwashing liquids.
Adrienne , Boston, MA
I know, I know, not politically correct. Not one bit. However, from the read, I thought it was HILARIOUS! Can't wait to see it! It's ok to laugh at oneself!
Mac , Desert Hot Springs, CA
This was too hilarious for words! How can anyone say this was negative?? It's an obvious parody from start to finish, and if it were done by a gay company for a gay audience, we'd all say it was the funniest thing we'd seen in a long time. When something is this exaggerated, virtually no one is going to think it is meant to be a true 'representation' of gays. Get over it! It's FUNNY!
Benjamin , Los Angeles
I think that since IKEA has been in the forefront of gay marketing doing the same old gay couple routine gets boring. I found this really funny. Gay roommates from hell. Why not?
Steve , Montreal, Canada
I couldn't stop laughing ! Those who are offended by this ad should get a life! The only trouble with it was the animal cruelty. In that way, we should be quite offended by this ad. Wait, I should get a life too, then!
Paul , Hamilton, Canada
That was hilarious! Sometimes things can just be funny.
Rob , Boston
It plays on stereotypes, but not in an offensive way. It's funny.
Patrick Rooney , Tempe, AZ
Seriously, that is everyone's relationship with someone, at one time or another. Plus they show a "pretty boy" with an "average Joe".
Anonymous , Brisbane, Australia
I think one of the best things you can do is laugh at yourself and I thought this ad was great! Sure, it was a little... no, it was very stereotypical but they weren't trying to be offensive. They were just trying to sell furniture! Go on, have a laugh!!