Gay Pride ad reveals a company’s values

11 Jul

Oreo took a hit in the U.S. this month for their ad supporting Gay Pride.

Orea rainbow cookie Pride ad

This is not unexpected. Any ad supporting Pride will get your company blackballed in some quarters. Oreo knew it was going to happen and ran the ad anyway. That’s called having values.

Cynics will point to a calculated risk-taking after a careful weighing of the profit/loss scenario and the resulting positive and negative PR.

Whatever the path to getting this ad out there, it has flushed out plenty of outraged people who will “never eat Oreo cookies again!”

If advertisers continue to come out in support of gay, lesbian and transgendered peeps, the protesters will eventually be surviving only on food they grow themselves and rainwater.

Assuming no rainbows appear after the downpour.

What really interested me about the Oreo ad was how alike it is to a bunch of other Gay Pride support ads.

Homesense stacked rainbow towels Pride ad

Via rainbow seats Pride ad

Winners stacked rainbow shirts Pride ad

On their own, they are each good ideas. When seen collectively, you can sense the long-term challenge for ad agencies. It’s almost as if these companies are throwing their corporate support around Pride but not their arms.

One advertiser that did hit the mark was the LCBO. There was more of the spirit of celebration here, which I found congruent to the tone of the event. I laughed out loud at the spritzer line near the end.

LCBO Cheer Pride ad

Cheers to the LCBO.

4 Responses to “Gay Pride ad reveals a company’s values”

  1. Stephanie Bennis July 11, 2012 at 5:54 am #

    This is a really interesting case study of advertising. I agree that companies stuck to their beliefs by running these ads – even if it meant isolating their audience. They may have also known that it would stir up enough attention to get them mentioned in papers, on radio and TV and even written on blogs which is more free advertising for them.

    • Doug Brown July 11, 2012 at 6:27 am #

      Thanks a good point, Stephanie. Because of your own expertise, you know that the days of controlling PR are gone. But Oreo would likely have known that, in addition to the free-for-all social media chatter, there would be coverage in mainstream media as well. Like you, I choose not to believe that’s the only reason they did it!

  2. Scott (@FootButterGuy) July 31, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

    Now consider this post in light of the Chick-Fil-A bigotry and proclamations against homosexuality. If I was KFC I’d run a national campaign along the lines of: Our Chickens Don’t Discriminate, they’re proud to do lunch with anyone. Love the LCBO ad – that shows creativity and as you pointed out Doug, a big hug to the community.

  3. Doug Brown July 31, 2012 at 7:05 pm #

    Scott, there’s really no point in being half-in on an issue like this. That will alienate everyone. I give kudos to any business that is all-in. Support fully, or don’t. There’s no fence setting here…only ignoring the issue.

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