So, you might have heard that Russia, the country hosting the Sochi Winter Olympics, is a little anti-gay. You might have also heard a lot of people are boycotting watching the games (like lesbian fandom dreamgirl Zoie Palmer, for instance) and others are protesting in other ways (rainbow unicorn mittens of solidarity) and still other companies have made their own statements (AT&T and Google were early out of the gate). While companies have tailored ads for LGBT events, publications, etc. Now there have been a handful of commercials that have put their inclusiveness where their advertising dollars are in the mainstream. There was that cheeky Canadian ad with the lugers. (Oh, Canada, indeed!) And now Chevy, Coke and Chobani (above) have all created LGBT-positive advertisements, which have all been released during the Olympics. These sorts of gestures often make me feel torn. On the one hand, amazing – so fucking amazing that finally we’re being represented in mainstream culture in something as All-American (yes, yes – I know, they are global brands) as Chevy and Coke. On the other hand, is it just a crass way to use the LGBT audience as another consumer pawn to be played in search of the almighty dollar? Though, I guess being seen as just a capitalist tool is in a way its own victory. If inclusiveness and diversity is seen as a way to make money, I guess I’ll take it. So gay sells now? It’s better than the opposite, that’s for sure.
p.s. Here’s a Norwegian ad which premiered the same day as the Sochi opening ceremonies and features some prominent sports stars.
p.p.s. Interesting that major corporations are jumping on the LGBT bandwagon for the Olympics, but the major sporting organization of the NFL (particularly its anonymous cowards) can’t get on board with an out prospect and potentially the first out professional football player. Go, Michael Sam, go. Suck it, NFL.