Right-wing conservative groups have often accused gay people of having an agenda to promote homosexuality. In response to this, the UK’s Gay Times decided to run an interesting recruitment campaign: selling homosexuality to the straight community. Editor Joseph Galliano explains why he asked five ad agencies to help promote the gay cause…
CR: In light of the recent campaigning in the US, did some of the usual arguments emerging from the far-right help as a starting point for the project?
JG: “Actually, it’s unfortunately much more historical than that. The idea that there’s this ‘homosexual agenda’ is something that has come up many times, over the last 20, 30 years. I find it hilarious, the very idea that gay people might have a coherent set of agendas.
“So I just thought that, if it were true and we were trying to and sell homosexuality, what would it look like? It’s a simple idea really. But the serious point is in highlighting just how ridiculous some of those kinds of attacks are and trying to answer them in a way that’s interesting and creative.”
CR: How did the ad agencies you approached respond to this unusual brief?
JG: “Creatively, it was great how open the people were to a good idea. It was something that was simple and that tickled them. Almost all the agencies we approached took part, which was really good, especially as there was no money involved.”
JG: “It’s all amused us greatly and is a project that we’d like to turn into something real, maybe gettting a viral campaign going. There was a readers’ vote to decide a favourite and the ad that won was the Guy Minds Think Alike one by Saint. The creators of that one connected it up with a Facebook page, too. It’s a very sharp and focussed message.”
“While there are many old fashioned ways of campaigning for a cause, we wanted to do something more modern and creative to get the point across, and not be completely humourless. So it’s an interesting step in that direction.”
The campaign, along with interviews with the various creators of the ads, runs in the November issue of Gay Times which is out now.
Full credits for the work featured here are as follows:
We Really Want You
Created by Leo Burnett, Chicago
Creatives: Reed Collins, Mark McGinnis and Bob Winters
Created by The King’s Arms Creative, Manchester
Creatives: Paul Watson and Lynton Hemsley
Created by Isobel, London
Creatives: Richard Allsop and Jana Pejkovska
Guy Minds Think Alike
Created by Saint@RKCR/Y&R, London
Creatives: Paul Graham, Simon Labbett, Jeeves & Pete and Kris Saliba
Created by Iris, London
Creatives: Neale Horrigan and Leigh Wallace
Anything She Can Do
Created by James & Joe, Leeds
Creatives: James Kiers and Joe Callahan