advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The gay ad Hyundai doesn’t want you to see?

At least here in the U.S.? Chris on The Auto Marketing Blog found this spot running during the Olympics, but apparently only in Canada. It’s part of a series of lifestyle scenarios called Smart is in, created by former agency Bensimon Byrne. From hetero date to family date to this one with... lipstick lesbian theme? (They’re on the BB site under current creative > Hyundai.)

As Mancrunch and gay near-miss Snickers showed, the spot, tame as it is, wouldn’t run here, even though it could, because we just ain’t there yet. It doesn’t show any physical contact—it just implies a *potential* future relationship. Last time I checked, that was still legal here, ammirite?

The deeper issue here for brands and the LGBT community is obviously homophobia. The secondary message is that while brands may cater to *certain* demos on the side—said LGBT community—they’re fearful of losing the dollars the demo will spend. Still, it’s clear brands don’t want the demo anywhere in their mainstream advertising—or anywhere near their mainstream advertising audience.

The proof is in the absence, because look around. It’s ironic that mainstream TV has become very open about the issue now, from Bravo to Will & Grace to whatever show you want, while the advertising revenue that drives shows is still very much afraid to come out.

That’s not to say the product has to be shown being used in a gay way (cue pink iPhones sashaying down Broadway!) It’s about a LGBT community which doesn’t want to be treated any differently when it comes to the brands they use. It’s about whether or not they’re represented in the discussion at all.

It’s tricky when any group tries for mainstream acceptance though, to be like everyone else when it comes to being marketed to, but then has to stand out to just get a seat at the table in the first place. Smart may be in, but acceptance sure continues to have its problems.


Anonymous said...

It has nothing to do with homophobia. Hyundai Canada is a different company than Hyundai Canada and each has a contract with a different ad agency.

bg said...

Thanks, but, you missed the point. The ad wouldn’t fly here, even if were created by 11 different shops in Ireland.