Chevy Olympic ads feature gay couples

While several Olympic sponsors have spoken out against Russia's restrictions on gay rights ahead of the Sochi Winter Games, Chevrolet is rolling out two ads during the U.S. broadcast of the opening ceremony on Friday that feature gay couples.
AP Wire
Feb 8, 2014

The ads are the first to feature gay couples during an Olympic broadcast, according to GLAAD, an advocacy group for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. They also come at a time when a fairly new Russia law banning gay "propaganda" from reaching minors has drawn strong international criticism ahead of the Games.

Three sponsors of the U.S. Olympic Committee — AT&T, DeVry University and yogurt maker Chobani — have spoken out explicitly against the Russian law. Other companies that have remained silent on the issue have been criticized on social media. And there have been calls for a boycott of the Sochi Games from gay activists and others around the world.

Chevy, a unit of General Motors Co. that is not an official sponsor, didn't comment on the Russian laws specifically, instead saying in a statement that "these ads ... are not intended as any political commentary."

But some advertising experts say the commercials make a pretty clear statement. "Actions speak louder than words," said Allen Adamson, managing director of the New York office of branding firm Landor Associates. "The action of putting a spot on the Olympics is far more powerful than a press release. It's a very clear statement of what they believe Chevy stands for."

One ad, called "The New Us," for the Chevrolet Traverse crossover SUV, shows quick shots of many different families, including a gay male couple with a son and a daughter. "While what it means to be a family hasn't changed, what a family looks like has," a voiceover states. "This is the new us."

Another ad, an overall Chevrolet brand spot, features a pastiche of different images of America, including a shot of a gay couple getting married. "Like the old love, the new love starts with a kiss," a voiceover states. "Like the old community, the new community still keeps us connected. ... A whole new lineup for a whole new world."

The ads are the latest example of advertisers trying to be more inclusive in terms of who they show in their commercials. During the Super Bowl last week, Cheerios featured an interracial couple and Coca-Cola showcased a diverse array of families from different ethnicities and backgrounds, including a gay couple. The Coke ad was the first time a gay couple had been featured in a Super Bowl ad.

The ads "truly reflect the fabric of our nation, which today includes gay and lesbian families," GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said.

Chevrolet Traverse ad: http://bit.ly/1lHZkwz

Comments

Former Grandhavenite

I wonder where all of the spam accounts that are suddenly in every thread are coming from. Has someone managed to defeat the CAPTCHA through pattern recognition software so they can automate the process, or is there someone grinding away in a boiler room manually registering all of these?

I read an interesting article about how some spamming organizations have actually outsourced the account registration aspect to 'subcontractors' in third world countries, now that even most poor countries have cyber cafes or some type of wireless connection to the net. One person might just create throwaway Gmail and Hotmail accounts for a couple dollars per day, and another person might just sit in front of a screen keying in the word verification of CAPTCHA after CAPTCHA all day. Spamming is an annoying but also fascinating 'industry' and actually pretty innovative in a lot of ways.

MeanSmith

It's great that we support the gays. But what are we trying to prove? Our defiance towards Russia, or that we love the gays that much? Seems a little over the top. I don't get it.

ddv

I agree. Also, if we're supposed to be so inclusive now... WHY IS EVERYONE STILL TALKING ABOUT IT?? If it's supposed to be main stream, why is the Chevy and Coke ad talked about SO much! I didn't even notice there was a gay couple (and I was watching the new ad) until it was pointed out by the media that I should notice and should care. It's part of our culture, it doesn't need to be made into a big deal anymore.

Former Grandhavenite

On a practical level most of the large companies in the US including GM and AT&T have become increasingly supportive of same-sex marriage because apparently they've decided that it's good for business. They're generally not doing it out of a genuine concern for human rights and equality if I had to guess.

Somewhere a gay couple or gay-rights advocate (or someone who simply values freedom) is going to buy a car based on this ad. I think the companies also realize that it's easier to recruit employees if they're seen as gay-friendly. Apparently a lot of the areas with the highest density of self-reported gay people are also areas that have desirable employees and clients with higher than average levels of education and wealth. A big company just can't get away with being seen as anti-gay the way they could have 20 or even just 10 years ago. Even if it only drives away a small number of potential customers or employees, it puts them at a competitive disadvantage.

mmjproud

Hopefully the adds at least are female couples that resemble modles...I'll pray

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