Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Paris LV Loses Gay Ad Award...

...but should be honored to be among the nominees for this:

Congrats to Harrah's for coming even that close in the first year that the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation gave out such awards. They were up against Macy's, Kenneth Cole, Absolut and, uh, Swanson, in the Outstanding Advertising (Print) category. Yes, the soup company. If you want to see what they were nominated for, you can review all the nominees and winners' work on GLAAD's site.

What beat out gay Paris and lesbolicious soup? Why... vodka, of course! Which is almost like giving the Cy Young award to Cy Young. Absolut has been doing groundbreaking gay-specific print ads for decades, they virtually invented the craft. Maybe they should consider naming the honor for them and give someone else a chance. You know, like the company that decided to actually take a serious, calculated risk and intensively brand a billion-dollar resort as "the gay casino," a notion that not long ago would have been a kiss of death in heterosexist Vegas.

You may be wondering, if you're not gay, why it's necessary to honor such work at all. But to give you some idea of how far we still have to go before gay people will be present in advertising that appears in the mainstream media -- the two ads above were placed strictly in GLBT publications -- take a look at this brief spot. It's the best GLAAD could come up with to honor "Outstanding TV, Mainstream Market."

Any straight people out there know why it's even considered a "gay" ad? There is an answer but it's so minute, it's so coded and stealthy that when Miles and I saw it on TV once, we thought it could be a coincidence. Not exactly the definition of out and proud, but this is, evidently, the best we got these days.


Delta Dawn in the LV Desert said...

One or two stealth codes? I saw the HRC logo on the shirt, but was that a fleeting glimpse of a rainbow in the back at :05? Does that even count?

GregoryZephyr said...

As a straight man, I'd be more embarrased to wear that argyle sweater vest than a shirt with the equality logo on it!

J.T. said...

Is it certain that the inclusion of the logo was intentional? I wonder if the actor in the ad knew what it was.

Anonymous said...

Best gay las vegas service is of course a Mr Steve Wynn hotel.

Troy in Las Vegas said...

Yes, there is that equal sign logo and there is indeed a rainbow towel on one of the gold bags.

Michael said...

I didn't find anything with the ad that could classify it as a 'gay' ad. So it must be something like the other commenters stated.

Pretty good ad though, in the sense I had remembered it from when it aired.

atdnext said...

Well, Orbitz does have a "LGBT travel" page, so maybe it was intentional. I guess that's better than nothing.

Oh, and I never hesitate to spend at both Wynn casinos AND Harrah's casinos because both companies have earned 100% HRC Corporate Equality Index scores. While I know some progressives are irked over Steve Wynn's recent trashing of President Obama (and have every right to be), IMHO the perfect HRC score at least cancels that out. And with Harrah's, I have no qualms at all. They've been quite gutsy in both marketing so openly to LGBT travelers AND supporting our equal rights (especially with SB 283 this year!), so I don't mind rewarding them when I'm at Paris or Caesars.

Anonymous said...

@atdnext. I though not agreeing with Obama meant you were racist, now it also means that you are homophobic?

I dont think Wynn's comments about health care can be categorized as trashing Obama. He disagreed with his policy, big difference there.

What ever happened to freedom of speech?


Daren -

That's such a strange response. What the prior commenter said is that he's IMPRESSED by Wynn's pro-gay efforts and that that is more important to him than his disagreement with some of Wynn's other political views. How would anyone reduce from that that Wynn's recent stances on health reform or stimulating the economy are seen as homophobia? Seems to me that this commenter is offering an analysis of the various issues that matter to him and then explaining how it influences or doesn't influence his spending.

Re: "What ever happened to freedom of speech?" Another odd question. Seems alive and well to me, more robust than ever. Where is it threatened? What it actually means is that if someone like Wynn says something you disagree with, the government won't stop you from saying something and allows you to make decisions on how to react. That means deciding whether to watch that station, listen to that program, patronize that business. And even if I'm a stockholder who thinks that Wynn's statements may alienate our company's clientele and that he shouldn't speak out like this because it's bad for business, that *still* does not equate to a belief that the government should force him to shut up.

I would be careful about speaking in cable-news absolutes. Atdnext can't be held accountable for what Jimmy Carter says about racism any more than someone who is opposed to health reform can be held accountable for Sarah Palin's death-panels nonsense.

atdnext said...


Steve Wynn certainly has the freedom to trash Obama and his policies, but angry progressive patrons also have the freedom to spend their disposable income elsewhere. Both qualify as freedom of speech. And yes, when Steve Wynn equates President Obama with being a "Marxist" and somehow "anti-Las Vegas", IMHO that qualifies as trashing the President.

Mr. Steve Friess-

Thank you. Yeah, that's what I meant. I've always appreciated Wynn Resorts' support of the LGBT community here, but I disagree with Steve Wynn on his take on President Obama's policies. And while I personally haven't joined the Wynn boycott, I don't blame those who have because health care and/or economic justice is their top issue.