The ads are virtually the same except for the switch from opposite-sex to same-sex couples. How deep in the closet are these men? Similarly, a Kodak ad shows two men in a memento photograph.
Taken together, the ads within the pages of Out do show a certain degree of diversity of gay male bodies. The city of Miami is located in Dade County. It was the Florida Orange Juice boycott of that genuinely 1 - 7 of 7 ads for gay guys in the gay community and helped forge its identity as a national, politically self-conscious community.
Some gay men do move out of less tolerant states, but this effect is small. This is an example of marketing a product aimed specifically at affluent gay consumers—those who have the leisure to travel and the money to afford it.
The show had its greatest following among straight people for whom it worked to normalize and accept gays as authorities in certain areas. At first glance the Lauder Pleasures ad may seem out of place—a man wearing a wedding band holding a young 1 - 7 of 7 ads for gay guys in while both are relaxing in a hammock surrounded by a grassy lawn, a dog, and a white picket fence!
These images signal gay friendly companies and leave little doubt as to the nature of the relationship between the men. The simple power of inclusion works for many audiences. It is all a guise, an act. If the ad itself were not enough to stir up public concern, the much more impactful publicity surrounding it surely did so.
Performing Gender The social theorist Judith Butler has argued that all of us—men, women, and intermediate—are always performing gender. Lufthansa, however, stops short of endorsing gay relationships and lifestyles in the overt manner in which Avis and Kodak do. Sender, Business, Not Politics , 1.
This controversial, in-your-face approach simply could not be ignored.