Gays And Advertising: A Field Guide (Abridged)


The Patently Offensive

So, Toyota needed to promote four-wheel-drive vehicles in Country Australia, which most of the world knows as Outback Australia. And because the folks who live in that part of the world pride themselves on being rough and tough pioneer types who express a lot of disdain for city life and, you know, potable water, Toyota decided it would play off that attitude with a 4WD campaign featuring the tagline “Nothing Soft Gets In”.

On the one hand, the campaign makes me very uncomfortable. It’s clearly aimed at men, and it says in no uncertain terms that men who eat tofu and carry yoga mats are worthless and weak: comic book masculinity at its finest. I lived through that for the first couple of decades of my life, and I was kinda hoping everyone had gotten beyond it.

On the other hand, maybe I’m overreacting. I mean, I can think of a lot of gay men who’ve used the slogan “Nothing Soft Gets In”, too.

Also from the Antipodes:

Jesus Christ, Australia, what is going on in your life? IT’S JUST FUCKING MOISTURIZER. Have you taken a look at Crocodile Dundee lately? He could use a dollop.

The Marginally Offensive

Thank you, Metro Newspaper UK. Ha ha ha. Most people will look at this and say, “Oh, it’s funny because priests are always shocked by drag queens!” I prefer to think the priest is simply heartbroken because he missed the big parade — but the EMT is awfully cute…

Mr. Invisible

Offensive is bad, but at least it’s easy to spot. Arguably worse — as we all learned from reading Judith Butler and Theresa de Lauretis once upon a time — is being invisible, like Mr. Fantastic Rice from Taco Bell’s weirdass Super Delicious Ingredient Force campaign. (Yes, Miss Honey has a Facebook page, which says he’s interested in “women”, but when you’re voiced by Nick Swardson…well, we know the score.)

Far worse than fast food camp:

“What if you could be loved for exactly who you are? Well, as long as you ain’t some kinda PANSY ASS KNOBGOBBLER.”

I don’t have a problem with matchmaking sites in general — even though my friends who’ve used them report widespread disaster — but the homophobic asswipes at eHarmony make my stomach churn. Plus, founder Neil Clark Warren looks like the daddy of all child molesters.

The Pandering But Well-Intentioned

Which I have discussed elsewhere.

The Overtly Political

Translation (from the tiny text on the right):

1900 — Women don’t have the right to vote.
Homosexuals can’t join the Armed Forces.

2000 — Women are the key demographics in all modern elections.
Homosexuals can’t join the Armed Forces.
A battle still remains.

Mix Brazil Cultural Association

Nice work, but that font used for “1900”? Ugh. Today in TERRIBLE CHOICES.

The What-Just-Happened?

It’s like Sartre’s No Exit, but in condom ad form.

And also:

Which is weird and creepy and (mostly) a total turn-off, but you know the French and their vive la difference shit.

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