New Ads from Hillary, Dove, Tylenol Show Gay & Lesbian Families. Does It Still Matter?

new ads with gay and lesbian families

As the months and days have counted down to the presumed legalization of same-sex marriage, more companies (and politicians) continue to produce ads with gay and lesbian families and couples. But do they still make an impact? What do they say about the companies airing them? Do they still even matter?

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Premiering June 24 — with SCOTUS’ decision expected at any time — this presidential campaign video voices Clinton’s full support of LGBT rights and same-sex marriage in particular. Always a polarizing figure, Clinton’s stance is being criticized as flagrantly bolstering the gay agenda by some, and as a Jane-come-lately by others. I, however, am taking it at face value, and enjoying the various celebrations of love between these lovely couples of all ages, sizes and colors.

“Gay rights are human rights. And human rights are gay rights.”

All love is equal. It’s time for marriage equality.

Posted by Hillary Clinton on Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Airing online Father’s Day week, Dove Men+Care created a montage of men learning of their impending fatherhood to further illustrate their “real strength” tagline.

Real strength means showing you care. Even from the first moment.

Mixed in amongst the many creative pregnancy announcements is a fleeting moment where a gay couple embraces as they look down on what is presumably their newborn child. It’s almost too quick to count, but it’s a great start. Keep up the good work, Dove! Visit To All Dads to read letters from men (including a couple of gay fathers) sharing the experience, wisdom and insight they’ve gained since becoming dads.

82% of men believe that having a child changes the way they think about what it means to be a man. Watch our short film to see how Care Makes Dad Stronger.

Posted by Dove Men+Care on Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Also launched nationally in June, Tylenol’s #HowWeFamily spot compares the journeys people take to becoming families — first asking when they consider themselves family, then asking (juxtaposed against a same-sex couple, an biracial couple, and a multiracial family) when they first had to “fight” to become a family. Visit HowWeFamily.com to read more from director Dustin Lance Black (Best Screenplay Oscar winner for Milk) as well as videos and comments from other families. Tylenol continues to back up their claims of supporting equality through their advertising. In addition to this ad, they featured a lesbian family in a campaign from December, and have even changed their Facebook avatar to the pink and red equality symbol…using capsule shapes for the equal sign.

Family isn’t defined by who you love, but how.


In doing my research, I stumbled upon this sweet spot produced by Hallmark just before Valentine’s Day. Part of a series called “Put Your Heart to Paper,” the video shows a young lesbian couple proclaiming their feelings for each other without using the words “I love you.” While only an online campaign, it’s encouraging to see a company viewed as rather traditional (by me at least) embracing every type of love and all kinds of relationships. Check out Hallmark’s line of LGBT cards.

It’s hard to describe your love without saying “I love you,” but it’s pretty amazing what happens when you do. Eugenia & Corinna #DontSayILoveYou. #PutYourHeartToPaper

Posted by Hallmark on Monday, February 2, 2015


While these ads become more commonplace, are they also becoming less groundbreaking? The skeptic in me assumes market research was done to ensure the ads wouldn’t cause complete financial ruin for the companies that placed them… and that perhaps they’re just hopping on the pro-homosexual bandwagon (if that’s even a thing). The realist in me sees the scores of social media comments these spots have elicited, and is reminded there’s still a ways to go. Reactions range from gushing with support to threatening boycott to outright hatred — there are still many, many hearts and minds to be won.

The idealist in me knows these ads still matter. They matter to those that oppose and hate people like me and families like mine. We’re not going away. We’re everywhere, in fact, and have been all along. Eventually the homophobes will run out of products to boycott and laws to fight and friends and relatives to disown, and perhaps will let go of whatever hatred and fear is keeping them mired in bigotry. Or perhaps not. As evidenced by the racist murders in Charleston, bigotry has deep, deep roots that require continual tending.

Whatever the lasting impact of these or future ads, I welcome them as reminders of the progress that’s been made, and more ways to celebrate love and family, in all its forms.

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