The Commercial Closet Association held their Images in Advertising Awards Monday night at the Time Warner Center here in New York City. Obviously we leapt at the opportunity to mingle with the mo-minded media and advertising set, so we headed on down to take a look at things. Let’s just say it met our expectations.
The gays first gathered in a VIP room, which really didn’t seem that VIP because they seemed to let any old queen stroll on in, i.e. us. But, of course, the awards aren’t about exclusion.
On the contrary, they’re about inclusion and positive images of queers. As Commercial Closet’s website asserts, the awards honored “outstanding advertising from 2006 with [LGBT] references in it that meet Commercial Closet Association’s Best Practices guidelines for advertising.” Those “best practices” guidelines suggest advertisers take some time to consider the queer complexities rainbow set.
Campaigns must recognize that GLBT people come from all races, ages, ethnicities, nationalities, incomes, political and religious affiliations, professions, physical abilities, and gender expressions, and whenever possible, incorporate such diversity into their representations. One size does not fit all.
Historically homo-friendly Ikea took home the Outstanding Commercial Award for Living Room (pictured above), while Time walked away with the Outstanding B2B/Trade Ad for their Know Why ad. Nokia’s confusing Coffee Shop Date won best International Commercial Award, beating out our favorite, Guinness’ Stand By Your Man advert.
It wasn’t all love, however. CCA took some time to wag theri fingers at some companies who need to “Clean Up Their Act”. DaimlerChrysler deserved the most scorn for their Too Tough commercial. The commercial features a fairy flitting about New York and beautifying the city scape with her magic wand. A DaimlerChrysler, of course, can’t be fairied, so the nymph-like creature winds up on her butt. Naturally, some schmuck New Yorker walks by, snides, “Silly fairy” and the aforementioned fairy turns him into what looks like a gay stereotype. His tough dog even turns into three fluffy Pomeranians. Surprisingly, no one hissed, lisped or booed, although trust we were tempted, if only to give the crowd a boost. As host Judy Gold repeatedly mentioned, the gay advertising folk aren’t the most fabulous.
Things got a little easier after the awards, when we all poured back into the VIP section to crowd around small sushi platters and the hefty sized bar. Even with all the booze, nothing too terribly interesting happened. The Queertians had a few awkward run-ins with Google’s gays, including an exchange that ended with editor Andrew Belonsky declaring Google Earth needs to take the responsibility for the fact that he saw some woman’s tacky thong on the Internet because of them. They refused. Belonsky dried his tears on the New York Times hat found in the gift bag, which also included KY’s “fancy” lube, Intrigue. We’ve yet been intrigued enough to use it. We do, however, appreciate The Commercial Closet Association’s interest in our collective asshole. You guys are real sweethearts!