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Gay-Themed Ads Are Becoming More Mainstream
Posted by: Lowie Jim Palisoc
Thanks for your post. It will be a great help for increasing the credibility of my research. :) For showing my gratitude, I promised that I will cite you in my study. thanks a lot! God bless

Is Coke gay friendly or not?

Posted by: Mike Wilke
Coca-Cola earned a perfect 100 from the Human Rights Campaign in the US and just debuted a commercial in the UK featuring a gay wedding. But it cut the wedding scene for the commercial in Ireland and has chosen to sponsor the winter Olympics in Russia, which is coming under heavy fire for its new anti-gay law and indifference to homophobic violence.

James Franco Dropped By Advertising Campaigns Over His Gay Themed Films

Posted by: Adam Stazer

In a red carpet interview last week at SXSW, James Franco suggested that he has been dropped from three advertising campaigns due to his involvement in two gay-oriented films he put out at Sundance, and not due to his image as the companies reported. He produced Kink and co-directed and starred in a forthcoming Travis Matthews film, Interior.Leather Bar. Franco suggested that this exemplifies the homophobia that still exists in American media. As many advertisers have already begun to notice, gays and lesbians will only continue to become an increasingly visible part of American society. While the exact reason for Franco having been dropped from these campaigns is unclear at this time, the depiction of raw gay sexuality as portrayed in these films was no doubt part of the conversation. Other explicit films depicting heterosexual sex rarely if ever raise an eyebrow among the public, and neither should these.

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2005 Year in Ads (and Fundamentalist Threats)

by Michael Wilke

It was a tumultuous year in American gay advertising. The much-awaited arrival of 24-hour gay network LOGO brought the first chance to target the community on TV, even as evangelicals targeted a growing list of corporations for gay friendliness.

Continuing a gay celebrity endorsement trend, Carson Kresssley, flamboyant star of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," started 2005 by ogling an attractive man in a Diet Pepsi Super Bowl spot. Also during the big game, Subway depicted two men together moaning and steaming up their car windows (with hot sandwiches).

In the summer, Viacom launched LOGO and brought numerous corporate sponsors onto gay TV, including custom gay commercials from Subaru, Showtime and Key West.

Meanwhile, feeling empowered since the presidential election, religious fundamentalists built a monthly assault against corporations engaged in gay-friendly marketing, including Ford Motor Co., Microsoft Corp., Procter & Gamble Co., Johnson & Johnson, Kraft Foods, Motorola, Avis, Orbitz, Walgreen Co., Wells Fargo, and others.

Tupelo, Miss.-based American Family Association particularly targeted Ford. The AFA declared victory when the limping automaker said it was unable to continue advertising Volvo and Land Rover in gay media. However, Ford later said it would continue to support the community, so the AFA threatened boycott -- again.

Commercial Closet's Ad Library grew by over 436 ads in 2005, including 130 rated commercials. Ads rated Positive were on the way up, growing to 21 examples from 8 the previous year. Ads rated Negative dropped to 17 from an unusually high 55 in 2004 -- due to widespread anti-gay ads from conservative politicians in an election year -- though still a decrease from 22 in 2003 and 31 in 2002.

Most ads continue to earn Equal ratings, and have inched up each year from 60 in 2002, to 85 in 2005. Ad campaigns appearing simultaneously in gay and mainstream media surged 34.3% in 2005 to 47 examples, reflecting greater overall corporate comfort.

Mobile Phone Companies Revisit Gay Themes

In the aggressive fight for cell customers, competitors Virgin Mobile and T-Mobile revisited their past successes with gay-themed commercials. Virgin introduced a successful gay elf, while T-Mobile continued inclusive references to gay life.

Following up on its edgy 2004 Chrismahanukwanzakah campaign, which included a bisexual elf, this winter Virgin Mobile's elf was gay. In a mock telethon, he squeals with joy when his phone rings and picks it up with limp wrists. The ads invite viewers to call him or other characters.

The gay elf was by far the most popular choice -- nearly half of 1 million callers selected him, ahead of Paula Abdul, the Hindu Santa, and Kwanzaa Guy. Intriguingly, when selecting the elf, callers were also asked, "If you ride on my bus, press one," and "If you're a straight shooter, press two." Callers could leave a message for Virgin if they wanted. Virgin did not disclose how many callers selected the "bus" option, indicating they too were gay.

Bob Stohrer, vice president of brand and communications for Virgin Mobile, says, "It's amazing how consistent the daily calling patterns were" in support of the gay elf. "Almost all of them were really, really positive."

The concept from Fallon advertising, Minneapolis, was that "nobody's celebrating specific holidays, and the default is a generic snowflake," says Stohrer. "The classic Virgin response is, we've got to do something about that!" He admits that the idea plays on the conservative "War on Christmas" agenda, but adds "we don't take ourselves too seriously."

While Virgin Mobile chooses not to test its ads -- some advertisers think that destroys creativity -- it does rely on a panel of 150,000 Virgin Mobile Insiders for feedback, though their sexual orientation is not tracked.

Ironically, Virgin Mobile has never specifically targeted gays, though sister brands including Virgin Atlantic did in the mid-1990s.

T-Mobile Teenage Boy Tries on Lipstick

Meanwhile, a commercial from competitor T-Mobile shows a father walking in on his son as he applies lipstick and wears a dress. Oblivious, but consumed with astronomical phone charges, dad says, "This wireless bill is out of control."

The campaign is "meant to represent family issues with obvious flash points between son and daughter," says Bob Moore, president-executive creative director of Publicis in the West, Seattle, the ad agency for T-Mobile. "It's current, and an age where lots of kids are questioning their sexuality."

The ad has tested well, Moore says, and feedback has been "very, very positive overall, even among my friends who are conservative. They thought is was funny. It's just six seconds, but they're quite influential."

Moore points out "it's not the first time we've displayed gay people, though it's probably the most prominent." In 2004, T-Mobile included a brief shot of a gay male couple in a campaign promoting "Couples Talk Free."

T-Mobile also recently began advertising on gay.com and in local gay print media, the first major cellular marketer to do so. If history is a guide, its competitors like Virgin may soon follow. What objection could fundamentalists have to a Virgin?\n

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