Recently an ESPN journalist started reporting as "news" Michael Sam's showering practices during his time with the Rams. Of course there was poor reception by all on this being "news" as it seems the ESPN debacle lead to other magazine and television networks backing down from stories about Gays in Professional Sports.
Stepping up to the plate and testing the gay waters, DirecTV wants to see if advertising to gay sports fans would be well received. In a new commercial to promote its NFL Sunday Ticket option, DirecTV applied its well-known slow motion filming to show their Ultimate Fan destroying the local environment. See this new commercial here.
This time, their ultimate fan is represented by two gay men, a couple, in mid-tackle, plowing slowly through their living room wall as one states ,"sure, we still argue sometimes. We're just like any couple really."
Probably not like every couple during football season. Sports ads usually show the stereotypical straights with beer and chips being enjoyed by the men while the women are staying away from the television huddled in the kitchen. Instead DirecTV has both men sporting team jerseys, one from the Cowboys, one from the Giants. Both men in the relationship are there for the game. Why the Cowboys and Giants? I will let you speculate on that. I am not sure if DirecTV new during production that Michael Sam would join the Cowboys. Maybe it's because some of us, okay maybe a lot of us, have a gay cowboy fantasy or two. And maybe some of us have a little crush, not on Tom, but instead Eli.
All in all, I think DirecTV did well with the ad, but played it safe in order to appeal to a larger crowd. They used a well manicured home and a well manicured couple where both men could "play for either team." They didn't appear to be of the circuit boy, go-go dancing, twink twerking, bearish, harness-wearing, artsy, or other stereotypes that gay males are placed into, but instead, okay, I'll say it and get flack for it, "normal" guys. But honestly, did they have to use a little yippity dog? I'd take either one of the guys, any day, but give me a Doberman, Great Dane, or even a lab.
What do you think Instincters?
Have companies done well including gays in their advertisements?
Do they too often rely on the use of gay shtick for the sale of a product?
Did DirecTV do well in portraying the "normal"-ness of these two gay sports fans in this ad or should they have gone a different route?
What other examples can you remember of good and bad inclusion in advertising?