Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ad Council's Attempt to Dissuade "That's So Gay"

Last week, AdFreak reported that the Ad Council has come out with a new campaign trying to curb the use of the phrase "That's so gay." There are TV spots, print ads and a Web site targeting a young audience. Two of the spots use celebrities Wanda Sykes and Hilary Duff (below).



Do you know how I learned (very quickly) not to use the term "gay" to mean anything other than homosexual? By going to a liberal college where, if someone overheard you say, "That's so gay," he'd kick your ass.

So what do you think? Is it an issue of deep-seeded homophobia, or simply political correctness gone too far? Will Ad Council's campaign work?

12 comments:

Christine said...

I definitely think it's something to be addressed. It falls under the same umbrella as "That's so retarded" which was the equivalent when I was growing up. Personally, I think the Hillary Duff TV spot is pretty lame, more likely to be called "That's so gay" by it's target audience than anything else, but the print execution takes a different route and works well.

joshjs said...

I'm very much against people calling things "gay" when they mean "bad." And I'm glad to see these ads about it (though I think the money used for them would be better spent in support of more explicit and important gay rights issues).

I must admit, though that I am still sometimes guilty of calling things "retarded."

Anonymous said...

i cannot STAND wanda sykes. i haven't seen that spot, but it would only work for me if she was the one calling something "gay." i will automatically do the opposite of whatever wanda sykes tells me to do on general principle.

Megan said...

I don't particularly care for Wanda Sykes, either. I find her annoying. Couldn't they get anyone else to do the spot? Is she even a B-list celebrity?

Anonymous said...

I think it would be hard to try to eliminate "that's so gay" and "that's so retarded" from peoples' every day speech, but I certainly don't think those terms should be used in ads. Those phrases are used in a derrogatory way when referring to something that's not attractive. Although "retarded" is rarely used today and using "mentally handicapped" has now become the polically correct phrase to use.
Is the Ad Council just targeting usage of these phrases in commercials, or also intending to eliminate them from general public speaking? That's pretty hard to do considering the number of "swear" words that are so commonly used today!

Anonymous said...

"mentally handicapped"? better update your so-called PC-ness.

Kendra said...

I strongly agree w/ what Megan said about going to a liberal college... ; )

I liked how at first the ad made you feel kind of awkward/"oh did she REALLY call them out" at first when Duff said "you shouldn't do that." It was totally diffused, though, when she commented on the skirt-as-a-dress. I'm not sure if I liked that or not - the dress comment helped lower the intensity, but that detracts from the message they are trying to send. Maybe they should have just kept it awkward...that might stick in people's minds more.

Anonymous said...

Ad council is pathetic, the only people who care are homos themselves.
My point is Ad council is nothing but a lowlife, childish, and only want attention so they can get what they want. I won't change just because some stupid ad tells me to change.
Or in other words, NOT HAPPENING!

Christine said...

I have to disagree with Anonymous above. I really don't understand where you're getting "a lowlife, childish" from in regards to Ad Council unless you really have no knowledge as to what the organization is. Personally, I think they've really done some excellent work, from the TRUTH ads to some of their Wildfire Prevention Ads and overall and excellent organization that helps bring good ads and free ad space to non-profit organizations that need them. Is this particular tv spot lame? Yes. But that definitely doesn't discount Ad Council as an organization in the slightest.

Anonymous, if you'd like to become a little more informed, visit www.adcouncil.org to check out some of the other work they do.

Anonymous said...

Gay meant happy before it meant homosexual. Gay meant homosexual before it meant stupid. Times are changing. Why do we get offended when someone says something is gay? Because they are assuming that the speaker implies homosexuality to be something negative. Homosexuals need to get over themselves and be a regualar part of society. If elements like race, sexual orientation, and gender were just looker over, there would be no homophobes, sexists or racists. This ad campaign should focus on cutting back direct negative speak such as bullying and rage, not a simple, "that's so gay."

Anonymous said...

that ad is so gay

Anonymous said...
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