Friday, September 18, 2009

Coded Gay Characters in Commercials

I don't know if anyone else ever watches the videos from Current TV's "Infomania," which is a lot like VH1's "Best Week Ever." Sarah Haskins' "Target Women" series (which I love) is probably the best known segment of the show, but they also have a guy who does a weekly segment called "That's Gay," which covers various gay news items and pop culture.

A couple of weeks ago, he did "That's Gay: Commercials" where he talks about commercials produced for gay audiences vs. straight audiences and-- which was fascinating to me-- these super-subtle codes to indicate gayness that advertisers place in otherwise "straight" seeming ads:

This definitely related to me to the discussion of codes and coded messages. You have to know, for example, that the rainbow flag connotes gay pride to understand why one of these commercials would be considered "gay" at all.  And some of the codes are way more subtle than that. I'd love to hear if anyone else has any similar examples...

1 comment:

  1. wow. I really like this! I've seen the "gay versions" of the commercials, but I never connected that to which channel I'm watching.

    Kind of similarly, I watched the ALMA (American Latino Media Arts) awards last week, and a lot of commercials were in Spanish (with English subtitles) like this Orville Redenbacher's popcorn commercial ( of the girl having a tea party, except it was with a Hispanic girl with the entire dialog in Spanish (sorry, I can't find on youtube). Obviously ad companies have to tailor commercials based on who they predict the audience is..