"Gay" (as in homosexual) in advertising

Is One Source's use of the word "gay" in their current radio ad the first in Irish advertising history? They achieve this breakthrough by using it in as neutral a context as possible: a passing reference. The female is trying to help the male get rid of his hiccups; water drunk upside down fails, so she tries inducing a fright. Not very convincingly, the script leaps to: "I'm sleeping with your brother." The male's casual reply is "He's [hiccup] gay." So, she ends up showing him the electricity bill and this gives him the required jolt. It's not the most elegant of scripts - the use of idea of a woman sleeping with her partner's brother is a bit unfortunate (and I wouldn't be surprised if it attracts some complaints), but being the shocking thing, it's possibly the only way the idea of gayness could be introduced into advertising without jarring with some audiences. It's like the tactic recommended by if you have something terrible to admit to someone: tell them something even more terrible first then say you were only joking and in their relief they might find your actual admission less startling.

No comments: