No matter how jaded you are by the commercialization of the holidays or the pink-washing of corporate marketing, sometimes the pandering hits. A new trans-centric holiday ad out of Spain shows trans representation done in the most touching way.
Whiskey brand J&B released a new commercial at the top of the month entitled “She”. It focuses on an older gentleman sneaking away to experiment with makeup in secret, improving through each scene as he notes different aspects of women’s makeup.
Eventually, he looks confidently in the mirror with a full face on before hiding his now-full makeup pouch above the bathroom mirror.
Halfway through the ad we’re introduced to “Álvaro”, the older man’s grandchild, as the whole family gathers in the house for a holiday celebration.
The grandfather sneaks his grandchild away to the bathroom, quietly locks the door, and pulls out the makeup. He applies all his newly learned skills to the grandchild’s face. The two reenter the dining room, and we’re reintroduced to the grandchild, now as “Ana”.
The family tears up, gathers for hugs, and toasts — of course — J&B brand whiskey.
The “heart-warming” factor is at an eleven…
The ad’s tagline is “La magia no solo está en la Navidad. Tambien Està en nosotros,” which translates to “Magic is not only at Christmas. It is also in us.”
In a post to LinkedIn, Ursula Meija-Melgar, the marketing director for J&B’s parent company Diageo, expressed her deep pleasure at working on this ad, writing, “There are stories that go beyond a brand or an advertisement. This is a history of love.”
“The global advertising market reached a value of US $593 Billion in 2021,” she notes. “This means that the power that advertising has to change the social narrative, to give voice and visibility, to inspire and tell stories that help is very great. And therefore, a great responsibility.”
Meija-Melgar calls the video “one of the most beautiful projects of my career” and states that “just like history itself, it has been a process of learning and courage.”
The brand chose their lead actress, Ella Di Amore, as she’s currently in the process of transitioning. Di Amore wanted to be able to represent trans people specifically in the earlier stage of transitioning for this specific story.
“In my day to day, I don’t try to be a reference for anything or anyone, but I do do everything in my power to defend LGTBIQ+ rights,” the actress says. “I know that through Ana’s character I can help many people by making visible a reality that is quite common.”