We gays have taken a special place in the wild world of advertising.
In fact, as Ad Pawn points out, lavender lads and lasses even have their own acronym: DINK (dual income, no kids). While that clever little moniker may not apply to all of us, the queer presence in advertising can’t be denied, but that’s not always a good thing.
The marriage advert seen above definitely puts gays in a good – or at least “normal” – light, but Ad Pawn insists many commercials use queerness as a worrisome pivot…
From the site:
In the same spirit with which adolescent boys might be prone to engage in homophobic verbal attacks to affirm their straight manliness; advertising often refer to gays to emphasize a contrast, an opposition. This is unfortunate but normal, since our culture places such a high value on masculinity-over-femininity ideal; and homosexuality is viewed as the ultimate betrayal of this unspoken rule.
This results in a series of – sometimes genuinely funny – gay-themed commercials that treat homosexuality either as a straight man’s nightmare, a mistake imputed to mismanaged testosterone, an uncomfortable misunderstanding, or just plain insecure fear (which is why the sound of a soap dropping on the floor of a public shower will usually be similar to one of a nuclear explosion). In the end, all of them end up selling a taboo more than the product itself.
The gang goes on to include a number of commercials, including the jail-themed one, which we’ve included below. We have to admit that we got a chuckle out of it. Sure, not all of the featured adverts are the most tasteful – one features an energy drink fueled Casanova stricken after a queer realization – but lewd and vulgar humor has its place. When and where depends largely on the viewer, the tone and the message.
As long as commercials aren’t seriously suggestion the “wrongness” of gayness and the punchline indicates benevolence, then it’s cool in our book. This matter came up last year, of course, after the infamously overblown Snickers commercial which featured chocolate crazed men who inadvertently kiss. In an effort to reclaim their masculinity, the men socked one another in the face. Gay groups went wild. It seemed to us, however, that the commercial should have been read as a dig at sexually skiddish men, rather than some subliminal attack on homosexuality.
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