Could This Unused Beer Commercial Have Cornered the Gay Male Market?
In 1995, an ad created by Ogilvy and Mather for the ever popular Guinness beer never made its way to the airwaves. It was deemed too controversial. The commercial shows a happily domesticated gay couple—one a more of a neat freak, the other a messy business man on his way to work. We watch their morning routine unfold as Tammy Wynette sings, "Stand By Your Man," in the background. It was a brilliant campaign at the time, when the conversation around LGBT marriage was at merely a whisper.
“Those men are a gay couple,” said then-creative director Tony Kay, “and with this storyline I believe we could’ve sold more beer if the ad went on air.” But instead, the company felt the ad, which shows a kiss on the cheek, was too bold. Now that same segment that was controversial nearly 20 years ago is being embraced virally.
While more and more companies are trying to appeal to LGBT community, which is reportedly a $743 billion market, and show that they represent equality, these brands are still in the minority. Perhaps this vintage commercial will serve as inspiration that embracing concepts of equality is not only the right thing to do to advance society, but I have a feeling that in 20 years time companies that did so will prove to have been pioneers.