|'The Good, The Great, and The Garbage': 5 Most Famous LGBT Ads of the Olympics
By: Victoria Hoey
Here is a brief synopsis of five different ads produced and shown worldwide as more companies choose to make statements against the anti-gay propaganda laws of Russia during the Olympics. Which ones were done FOR EFFECT and which ones HAD AN EFFECT? You decide, and please feel free to your comment below.
Bell Canada (tv commercial) “Best of Canada Best of Bell”
This one-minute commercial for Canada’s largest telecommunications company shows a montage of all the different devices people can watch the Olympic games on. If you stop the commercial around the 23–24 second mark, you will notice that the two people kissing on the couch are both men.
This ad doesn’t go far enough to warrant any praise. In a climate where some companies like AT&T have made clear and public statements standing up for equality, Bell Canada’s ad can only be described as “too little too late.” The fact that most viewers have to be told where to look for the LGBT support means that there just isn’t enough there.
XXL (tv commercial) “Airport Love”
Norway’s fastest-growing sporting goods retailer XXL aired their ad (featuring Matrix-like graphics with a male fantasy twist ending) across all Scandinavian broadcasts of the opening games. The commercial tells the story of a beautiful brunette woman walking through an airport as famous Norwegian sports stars do increasingly difficult tricks to vie for her attention, to no avail. The commercial concludes with the beautiful brunette woman kissing an equally beautiful blonde woman and the tagline, “Whatever team you play for.”
The only reason this ad went viral was because of good old-fashioned sex appeal, not because of the company’s stance on equality. The message is commendable, but viewers should take the delivery for what it is; a shock value– dependent, glorified beer commercial. (Just substitute the half-naked women in bikinis for fully clothed women kissing.)
Chobani Twitter post, “Naturally Powering Everyone”
A picture of yogurt cups stacked in a rainbow with different Olympic sports featured on each rim was posted by Chobani after its CEO, Hamdi Ulukaya, told the AP, “We are against all laws and practices that discriminate in any way, whether it be where you come from or who you love — for that reason, we oppose Russia's anti-LGBT law.”
The post may not have caused as much controversy as the company’s open political standing has, but it is a gentle and welcome nod to the entire gay community.
Chevrolet Traverse SUV (tv commercial) “The New Us”
Chevy has produced its first two LGBT inclusive commercials for American audiences. The ads feature the many different types of families hugging and interacting with each other with a voiceover that says, “While what it means to be a family hasn’t changed, what a family looks like has. This is the new us.”
This ad is as poignant as it is political. It is clear why Chevrolet and its parent company General Motors have received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign's “Corporate Equality Index.”
Google Doodle “2014 Winter Olympics”
The iconic Google logo got political on February 7 as it featured seven different winter athletes, each set in one of the rainbow colors of the Pride flag. When users hovered over the doodle a quote from the Olympic Charter, which reads “The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.”
The doodle was present in all countries that day including Russia, which is a clear violation of their laws. Russia is not expected to pursue any legal action and Google is viewed as a role model by most of the world.
Photo Credit: “Olympic Matryoshka Doll” designed by P.O.Design of the USA. Winner of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Logo Design Contest from DesignCrowd.com
Victoria Hoey is a recent graduate with degrees in copywriting and advertising.
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