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Queerty: How these brands are changing queer representation in advertising


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Just as we noticed several global corporate advertisers fall ad campaigns showing more queer people of color, perhaps partly in response to Black Lives Matter and the Trump white supremacy backlash, here come four more advertisers growing the trend in the US and abroad.

1. Ritz Crackers (Mondelez International)

Hot on the heels of a campaign from Mondelez sister snack brand Oreo featuring a biracial woman bringing her girlfriend home, Ritz Crackers also includes a diverse queer storyline as part of its holiday stories.

A Latino man texts his mom, “Can we talk?” He then meets up with his black boyfriend (who applied lipstick in getting ready) and chosen family of LGBTQ folks for the holiday. “The holidays are about spending time with family. Whether it’s the one you’re born into or the one you make,” the narrator says. The tagline: “Where there’s love, there’s family.”

2. Indeed

As part of a campaign built around discrimination and the challenges it presents in job hunting, Indeed features EJ who says upfront, “I’m black, I’m a woman, and I’m a lesbian,” while riding an ATV with a rainbow flag waving behind it. “I want to find a job where I can be myself.”

3. Pantene

Pantene celebrates National Adoption Month in November with its “Family is BeautifuLGBTQ” campaign — several short videos on YouTube and Instagram TV about three real adoptive biracial families and how they care for their daughters’ hair.

Pantene will donate $1 to LGBT nonprofit Family Equality (up to $100,000) for every family photo shared using #BeautifuLGBTQ  in support of family equality for all.

4. Zalando – Change Never Ends

Berlin-based European online fashion company Zalando has not one but two diverse LGBTQ commercials this fall, just the latest in others it has created the last few years. Patricia Allison of Netflix show Sex Education appears in the spot with Muslim man Aly, who enters a new chapter in his life as he meets a black man for an apparent date.

During our global time of crisis and isolation, Zalando wants to offer hope and remind us that we will hug again. Their second ad this season celebrates human connection and shows people of all races and ages embracing each other, including a black and white male pair and not one but two sets of queer women, the latter a mixed-race couple.

Holiday ads are starting to look a lot more diverse for the LGBTQ community this year. That’s a gift you can’t wrap.

Michael Wilke has covered LGBTQ issues in advertising since 1992. He is the founder of Commercial Closet/AdRespect.org and Senior US Consultant for Out Now.

Queerty