2015 was a great year for the LGBTI community with gay and trans people featuring more prominently than ever in mainstream film, news and TV.
Advertisers were quick to jump on the bandwagon with a number of ads featuring same-sex couples or LGBTI themes started popping up around the world.
With this in mind, the Star Observer reflects on some of the best ads of this year that featured LGBTI people, characters or themes.
First off, check out this Christmas ad by UK hardware chain Robert Dyas, which racked up more than 500,000 views in a matter of days:
Robert Dyas’ handiwork sparked thousands to take to Twitter:
“I’m pansexual and got banned from Robert Dyas after an incident in the kitchenware aisle.”
— Robert Hampton (@Hampo) December 13, 2015
Robert Dyas gives a strong equality message – you’re welcome there if you’re gay, straight, or bi, and whether you’re black or decker.
— James Martin (@Pundamentalism) December 13, 2015
This was one of the most complained about ads on Australian TV in 2015:
This was the seventh most complained about ad in Australia, receiving 62 complaints about general sex/sexuality/nudity because two men kissed in a fleeting, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment
The Advertising Standards Bureau dismissed the complaints.
Have tissues ready for this one:
The ad features two women learning sign language, but it’s not clear why until it’s revealed they were adopting a deaf child.
Wells Fargo, a banking company based in the US, has a history of supporting LGBTI rights and was one of 379 companies to urge the US Supreme Court to enact same-sex marriage.
A trans story by Google:
Trans issues really came to the fore this year, and this video tells the story of how a local business helped with a young man’s transition.
Hallmark’s hashtag movement:
Hallmark’s #PutYourHeartToPaper series features the love story of two dorky, but gorgeous lesbians which the coldest of hearts would not be able to resist.
Anouk’s bold statement:
Homosexuality was re-criminalised in India only a few years ago and LGBTI couples face jail time if caught. So, this ad for a massive clothing brand was important and groundbreaking.
Viewed millions of times, it sparked a national conversation in India and hopefully this could lead to change.
Voguing is back:
“Voguing accepts everyone,” audiences are told in this two minute clip by Smirnoff Vodka that documents the resurrection of a dance movement made big in the 80s.
In a flash of colour and sound, the ad shows performers of all genders, sexualities and races getting ready to hit the stage. It demonstrates the fluidity of sexuality and gender and when it comes to dancing, none of it matters.
Smirnoff is not the first alcoholic company to get behind a LGBTI movement but this ad is, er, intoxicating.
Academy Award winning feels:
Directed by Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, Tylenol released a series of ads as a part of its three-month #HowWeFamily campaign.
The above video is the first in the series and features a teen lesbian couple and two gay dads.
Manoj Raghunandanan, senior marketing director for Johnson and Johnson’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare, told the Advertising Age the ad was representative of his company’s commitment to celebrating how “families look and feel different [now] than they did before“.
He added: “Because we’re a family brand, because we’re an iconic American brand, and we want to continue to serve families into the future, I think it’s important that we reflect what that family is today.”
Obligatory RuPaul reference:
RuPaul’s Drag Race alumnus Willam Belli stars alongside a number of gender non-conforming people enjoying ice-cream brand Magnum while being #BeTrueToYourPleasure.
The series of ads premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this year.
“A day without pleasure is a day lost. Be true to your pleasure,” the ad says.