David Ogilvy was wrong: advertising can do more than just reflect the mores of society – it can change them too
Today’s adults came of age when homophobia was tolerated – even encouraged – by playground peers. Today, we’re entering a new era of inclusion.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis had a number-one hit with their gay-rights anthem Same Love.
Even the often-puritanical US is hurtling towards universal recognition of gay marriage.
Glittering (literally) gay-pride events take place in nearly every major world city, and I am proud to say that the advertising industry has been a staunch partner in the move towards the mainstreaming of gay culture.From the frankly homoerotic ads of the first half of the 20th century to the cross-cultural work of today, advertising has helped our society move its stance on homosexuality from oppression to appropriation and now to acceptance.
Work from Oreo, Coca-Cola, Gap, Absolut and now Tiffany & Co has normalised LGBT individuals and families as simply another demographic.
This is happening outside of the US too. To promote the ZenFone, Asus released a heartwarming film about a young gay couple learning how to love. PFLAG China used a hard-hitting video to urge families torn apart by homophobia to reunite for the Chinese New Year.
Tham Khai Meng, worldwide chief creative officer, Ogilvy & Mather
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