Ads For Gays Focus On Exactly What You'd Expect

Ad Guy #1: Okay, these gays have money. How do we get it?
Ad Guy #2: They like wangs! And cross-dressing!
Ad Guy #1: Done! [They high five.]
Radar takes a look at eleven gayish ads that range from over-the-top crass to “Well, if you want to see it that way” coy. For the most part, since it’s just another specialty demographic, the ads are no more interesting than the ones created for Ebony or Rumspringa! Magazine. A few, though, are head-shakers. Our vote for the most ridiculous: Air Canada’s promise to shove an airplane up your butt. Because gays like that.

con_adcrossdressingbusinessman.jpg“With Subaru, it’s all about subtlety,” says John Nash, whose agency, Moon City, apparently designed this ad for the elusive tranny demo. “Ads can be playful, but never crass. … Maybe he likes to cross-dress, who knows?”

“Gay For Pay” [Radar via Towleroad]


Edit Your Comment

  1. ClayS says:

    I’m not convinced that all of these are gay ads. Some definitely are. Some others, I don’t think so.

  2. snoop-blog says:

    who cares if they are. as if mcdonals isn’t trying to market towards blacks. its plain and simple economics to try to appeal to certain demographics. are you telling me a restaurant called “Hooters, or the Pink Taco” shouldn’t market towards straight men?

  3. MercuryPDX says:

    @ClayS: Seconded. Kinda surprised they focused solely on print ads, when there’s plenty of TV ads out there that are not so subtle.

    (P.S. YEA! Comment previews are back!)

  4. girlfriend 6.0 says:

    My favorite is the “we’re just excited as you” Volvo ad.


  5. chili_dog says:

    Hey, I thought gay folks were all into show tunes and such??? I didn;t even see 1 South Pacific or Pollyanna in there.

  6. DeeJayQueue says:

    @ClayS: The vegas one, probably not. The hotel ones, Hells yeah.

    The others are ambiguous at best, but companies like Subaru have very outspoken and very gay ads, so those are no surprise. The volvo one is harder to parse though… I mean, sure, they appeal to the gay man, but how many times have you seen a car characterized as a hot girl in advertising, maybe this is just an effort to anthropomorphize on the male side of things for once. Girls like volvos too ya know.

  7. shan6 says:

    @msb2: Absolutely, that was hilarious.

  8. kimsama says:

    Funny, flying with Air Canada does resemble getting fucked in the ass.

  9. CaptainSemantics says:

    @chili_dog: The gays have moved on from showtunes. They only listen to Madonna, Britney Spears, and crappy Eurotrash techno music.

    (It’s ok, I’m gay. I can say it. hehe.)

  10. CaptainSemantics says:

    And the lesbians in that Coors ad were WAY too lipstick to be drinking beer. They needed to be wearing flannel and watching a rugby match.

  11. ObtuseGoose says:

    The Vegas ad is hardly “gay” themed. I don’t see the point of the Ginch Gonch ad. It might be a good idea to actually show your product instead of some sleazy looking guys holding their wieners ;o)

  12. ClayS says:


    I don’t care who you are, that’s funny right there.

  13. snoop-blog says:

    @kimsama: tooooooo funny!!!!!!

  14. IrisMR says:

    Now imagine that they made an ad for… let’s say, air balloon rides and they made them look like tits.

    Imagine the amount of objections from offended feminists. It’s incredible how you can make sexist ads for men but not for women.

  15. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I don’t think this ad was particularly targeted towards a gay audience, but it was for a beer commercial..

    These two chicks are at a bar and see this guy sitting by himself in a booth. They think he’s hot and send a beer his way. The guy gets the beer, and acknowledges the chicks. One of the chicks was about to walk over and say Hello. But then another guy sits down in the booth, holds the other guy’s hand, and they both smile at the chicks.

    Classic! :-)

  16. 92BuickLeSabre says:

    If they had just taken the rainbow flag off the Air Canada ad, it would have been great.

    The problem isn’t the assumption that a gay traveler wants an airplane up his butt, but the assumption that only gay travelers want an airplane up the butt (or up anywhere else for that matter).

  17. davere says:

    Meh, I see some of these in gay magazines I receive and I love them.

    We are not going to be offended, we are going to laugh, and, personally (I cannot speak for the entire gay population,) I appreciate when a company goes out of their way to advertise to my demographic in particular.

  18. jamesdenver says:

    I’m gay, and my partner and I laugh at the ads for Atlantis gay cruises and exclusively gay resorts.

    I like partying, hot guys, and tight underwear (on said hot guys) as much as any other gay guy – but we would never spend an entire week with that crowd.

    Funny though there are gay people who make every travel plan gay oriented. They go to gay themed parties, only stay at gay B&Bs, and spend most of their time within whatever citiy’s gay community.

    I’ve stayed at gay hotels and usually visit alternative clubs when traveling, but if it’s constant and it’s your sole focus to me it seems a quite insular.

  19. csdiego says:

    Speaking as a straight female, some of these ads are as tasteful as they are hot: the Hyatt waterfall one and “one man’s lap” (although that last one got me a little too distracted to remember exactly which car it was advertising). The Ginch Gonch one is just fugly.

  20. MonkeyMonk says:

    The Ginch Gonch “wiener” ad was totally offensive to me. Who would put ketchup on a hot dog? Mustard or nothing!

  21. bdgbill says:

    The one with the four hairy legs in a bed is vile.

  22. aduzik says:

    @kimsama: So are you saying that my boyfriend would love flying Air Canada, but I would only enjoy it every now and then?

  23. ExtraCelestial says:

    to me it looks more like a spring breakish truth or dare game. the whole saying where every girl is just a few drinks away from being a lesbian. the girls in the front looked awkward and giggly; the girl in the back laughing hysterically. im not sure how well it would resonate with legitimate lesbians but theres definitely some appeal to drunk girls in their 20s.

  24. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @CelesteD: The awkwardness reads as “trying, and failing, to execute a smooth pickup” to me. “Hi… um… is that a space bikini? Because you’re really hot, I mean, um… damnit.”

  25. Benny Gesserit says:

    @kimsama: Agreed – Air Crapada: We don’t fly we just TAXI to Montreal.

    @csdiego: As a male who… like musical theatre (wink), I too found the Hyatt one tasteful and kinda hot. I didn’t see a lot wrong with the lesbian one at the end (but I’m not a lesbian.) The others were so-so but, you’re right, the Ginch Gonch one was just BLECH.

  26. csdiego says:

    @CelesteD: Only, those “girls” look way too old for spring break (not unattractive, just not young enough), unless they’re chaperoning on their daughters’ spring breaks.

  27. bayboy says:

    being gay I can tell you a lot of gay guys are very superficial and things like these appeal to them a lot.

    They’d think the Vegas ad with the eyelashes and make up, or the dress between the suits, the references to tops and bottoms etc. are such a big hee hee.

    Most of these ads are made of stupid and typical stereotypes, and assumptions, about gay guys in general – that we all like make up and wearing dresses, buy nothing but expensive cars and clothes and lounge at gay only resorts and like drag queens etc…

    Queer as Folk series is one big example of that as well.

    However there are those of us out there who don’t care about make up and dresses, drag queens, gay only resorts, clubs, bars … shocking I know.

    But then it’s likely we had our gay cards revoked from treating on the gay mafia. Bad gays

    And our IQ is high enough that we don’t go gaga over an airline advertising with phallus and anal undertones all over it.

    I mean come on … Even if they painted that airplane like a d*ck it won’t make me buy a ticket if the airline sucks! Or maybe I just want to get from point A to point B without fuss, in comfort with great service?!

    One thing I wish for is to see ads with one, two, however many guys, normal guys, without making a huge huge deal out of them being gay and going OMG OMG they’re about to make out … thud!

    HGTV does that very very well. You’d see male or female couples presented without major fanfare with loud alert noises, rainbow crap, triangles and shit all over the screen …

    Sometimes you even wonder if they are or aren’t an item.

    Just IMO

  28. SOhp101 says:

    Only 2-3 of these ads are ‘gay,’ the rest can be suggestive to women as well.

  29. laterain says:

    the subaru ad is not marketed to cross-dressing gay men; it’s marketed to lesbians. Subaru, for whatever reason, is known as a “lesbian” car.

  30. rdm24 says:

    Just as most straight men would never be able to tell if a gay guy were hitting on them, some posters on this thread can’t tell that these ads are GAY GAY GAY.

  31. waldy says:

    It wouldn’t have crossed my mind in a million years to consider that Subaru ad as something targeted towards gay people. What, women don’t wear suits??

  32. wesrubix says:

    Um, women wear pant-suits, so that means jackets too. Wake up consumerist. The Subaru ad was obviously targeted at professional women.

    And a heterosexual could easily get a larf out of the airline ad.

  33. synergy says:

    @SOhp101: Good point. It can be said that the ads are marketing towards ANYONE who likes men, be they male or female. :)

  34. CapitalC says:

    Anyone can laugh at Air Canada. Besides that, penises are funny. Heh heh. So is typing the word. Penis. Heheh.

  35. Mark 2000 says:

    For all the poop pooing here I can guarantee you that many of these ads were made by homosexuals. Gays do work in creative agencies, you know.

  36. csdiego says:

    @bayboy: Being a person I can tell you a lot of people are very superficial and things like dumb, sleazy ads appeal to them a lot.

    I don’t mean to mock, I just think there are nitwits and smart people in every group on Earth.