We've seen Sarah Haskins critique advertising that patronizes women, and now it's time for Bryan Safi's take on commercials that handle gay topics with varying degrees of respect. In this occasionally off-color video from Current TV, he begins with a few ads that use gay men as the punchline for straight audiences.
One example shows two Average Joes as they—for some reason—eat a candy bar from opposite ends. Eventually their lips meet, and after the obligatory panic that follows the realization they might have kissed, they reaffirm their manhood by ripping out patches of their chest hair. "Gay sex is gross," snarks Safi chirpily. "Eat a Snickers!"
But it isn't all negative stereotypes. "Just because you haven't seen any positive depictions of gays on commercials doesn't mean they're not there," he continues. "You just have to look really closely." Using freeze frame analysis of an Orbitz commercial featuring four men on a golf course, for instance, Safi identifies a rainbow flag in the background and a shirt with the Human Rights Campaign logo.
Another strategy, notes Safi, is to make slight changes to commercials, depending on their intended audience. The apparent relationship between two women in one Yoplait ad changes entirely when the version intended for networks like Logo includes a single extra word—one woman refers to the other as "honey."
Bryan Safi delivers Marketing Inspiration—and plenty of insight—by showing how gay audiences perceive marketing efforts that address their orientation. And he might make you laugh in the process.
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