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Is Budweiser targeting gay consumers with first post-DADT ad? May 1, 2011

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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The blogosphere is buzzing about Budweiser’s new ad called “Coming Home.” Many believe that the company is targeting gay consumers with a new military themed ad, the first in the post-Don’t Ask Don’t Tell era. The ad begins with a man telling a male companion over the phone that he is “coming home.” The screen splits, showing the soldier on his journey home, while his friend prepares a party. At the end, the two embrace.

Why do some believe the commercial is speaking to the gay community? According to Michael Jensen of the gay blog After Elton, the soldier never appears to be married, his friend does not appear to be his brother, and there is a lot of focus on the physical embrace that the two share.

Why does this debate matter? With gay entertainers just coming out of the closet, and gay characters appearing in major television shows only over the last few decades, companies advertising to homosexuals are indicating that they too are changing.

To see the ad yourself, watch the following video:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Do you agree that the Budweiser ad appears to be targeting a gay audience? Why, or why not?

2.  What does it say about societal change when a traditional American company shows willingness to reach out to the gay community? In other words, it this a milestone for gay equality, or just another example of corporate America exploiting possible consumers?

3.  If you agree that Budweiser is targeting the gay community with the ad, why is the ad so ambiguous?

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Comments»

1. HT - May 18, 2011

There’s a pretty notable moment of pause before the hug at the 46-second mark. This is the kind of shot and flow that we’d typically see with an opposite-sex couple anticipating a kiss. That, along with the framing and alignment of the shot, kinda made me wonder.

Either way, Bud’s intentional ambiguity got them the attention that they wanted. Good ad.


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