In the last post, I’ve talked to you about some of the worst practices in LGBT-Marketing, and, let me tell you it was surprisingly hard to find those. Finding the great ones was much easier – I even had to leave some out! Here are some of my all-time favorites:
General Motors landed a true winner with its 2012 LGBT ad campaign for the plug-in hybrid vehicle Chevrolet Volt. The ad portraits the new, electrified Volt coming out to his internal combustion engine parents saying “Mom, Dad, I’m electric.” – a powerful message every LGBT person can relate to. The text below is just as important: “Whatever revs your engine, we support you 100%.”. It was printed in an LGBT newspaper during Detroit pride and was primarily meant to be seen by the LGBT community. However, with 11 million views it went viral and even received the renowned GLAAD Amplifier Award.
2. Campbell Soup
Who doesn’t know Campbell Soup – the company famously portrayed by Andy Warhol advertise their new line of Star-Wars-themed soups. The ad portrays a father having soup with his son, imitating the famous Darth Vader line “I am your father” while flying a spaceship-spoon of soup into his son’s mouth. The camera then turns towards the second dad (yay!) who does the same skit saying “No, no, no, I am your father!”, delivering more soup to his son. With this campaign, Campbell Soup came up with the hashtag #realreallife, which is even more true given the fact that the happy couple in the spot is married in real life (Esquire).
The ad, like many other inclusive campaigns before it, got some backlash by the infamous One Million Moms (an activist group promoting fundamental Christian values), which got shut down quickly by Stephen Colbert, a famous American comedian hosting the CBS talk show The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (watch his comeback here), among others.
Another treasure, this time by the Coca-Cola company. Here we see a hilarious commercial about two siblings fighting over their hot new pool boy. The sister and (wait for it) the brother both spot the eye-candy in their backyard, run to the fridge to grab an ice-cold bottle of Coke, and race, spectacularly, to the pool to hand him the refreshment. But who wins in the end? Spoiler alert: Twist coming!
4. Wells Fargo
This commercial takes storytelling in ads to a new level. It portrays two women as they learn sign language in preparation to adopt a deaf girl. This was Wells Fargo’s first TV commercial featuring a same-sex couple and I think they’ve landed an absolute hit. Also, remember when I told you to use real LGBT people? The two women in the ad are married to each other in real life, confirmed the spokeswoman for Wells Fargo. It doesn’t get much better than that.
5. Ben & Jerry’s
Another win for Unilever. With this Tweet, the beloved ice cream company reacted to the lack of equal marriage rights in Australia by banning two same flavor combinations in their ice cream parlors. Not fair, right? Well, guess what!
We’re banning any same-flavour love in the fight for #marriageequality! Join us by signing petition to get Australia moving. pic.twitter.com/DV5MHOrCsZ
— Ben & Jerry's Australia (@BenAndJerrysOz) May 25, 2017
6. Allstate (my personal #1)
Last, but certainly not least: Allstate. As seen in earlier examples, real-life LGBT experiences are the ones that will build the deepest connections to your customers, because they will be able to relate to that situation and, by extension, to your ad. The ad’s tag line “Safe In My Hands” is a play on the US insurance company’s regular slogan “You’re in Good Hands”. This beautiful spot features an animated story of a man who struggles growing up with an oversized hand. No, I didn’t like that metaphor at first either – continuing to watch the ad, though, I started to get it. The protagonist goes from dealing with poor athletic skills (I can relate) to enduring scornful looks from strangers in the subway (been there). Many people (me included) have felt isolated, surveilled, and hated in public spaces because their sexual orientation and/or gender identity differed from “the norm”. Luckily though, our hero ultimately discovers that there are other openly big-handed people and big-hand allies out there. The video ends with the beautiful message “We believe everyone should be treated with respect and without judgment no matter who they love.” Remember when I told you to use your brand’s voice to spread kindness? That’s what I had in mind.
I’m curious to hear what you thought about these ads – which one was your favorite?
Stay tuned for the next post on how to deal with backlash after launching your inclusive ad. Hint: Don’t back down!
In the meantime, please share my blog post with your peers!
Do you want to know more about LGBT-Marketing? Read my other posts, too!
🌈 4 Reasons Why Your Business Needs LGBT-Marketing
🌈 The Dos and Don’ts of LGBT-Marketing
🌈 LGBT-Marketing: Worst Practices
🌈 How to Deal With Anti-LGBT Backlash
🌈 Rainbow-Washing: Explained
I loved to read the “best practices” after the worst ones! The one from Chevrolet is lovely, my favourite one!
Thank you! And yes, Chevrolet really did a fantastic job with that one. It’s so simple, yet so powerful!
Thanks for sharing these ads – my favorite is the Coca Cola one with the plot twist 😀
However I am afraid a lot of companies have realized that they can make a lot of money with the LGBT-community. There might still be the risk of taking advantage of it and just sharing the message “outside” but having troubles to really live these values within their companies.
Looking forward to read more about this movement.
Thank you for your comment, Stella! What you’re talking about is called pink washing – a post on how to avoid this is in the works! The LGBT community has always called company’s out on doing exactly that, especially during pride month. The truly inclusive corporations are the ones who have not only spread messages of equality through their marketing communications but provided their employees and stakeholders with equal rights first.
Thanks so much for this article. I think it is great that big companies add the LGBT community in their commercials, especially when it is with great humour and great finesse and subtlety. My favorite was the Coca-Cola one, hilarious!
Very well explained insights on the topic! More companies should incorporate and live these recommendations 🙂
Thank you for your passion, I am looking forward to the next post!