This Sunday is the Super Bowl — or as some of us might know it, that thing that runs opposite the Puppy Bowl. Regardless, there’s one thing that the Puppy Bowl doesn’t have: the most expensive advertising spots of the year. (OK, the Puppy Bowl also doesn’t have human players, points, rules, a real stadium… lots of things, really, but we digress.) Whether you’re watching the game or the ads, let’s take a look back at our favorite gay Super Bowl commercials.
The Top 5 Gay Super Bowl Commercials
1. Toyota Camry, “Reinvented Possibilities” (2012)
Even though there’s really only one gay scene in this, it’s a pretty great one. The premise of the Toyota spot is that they’ve “reinvented” the Camry, so they’re going to reinvent other things too. Most notably, the couch, made up of seven naked women — or men. We’re not crazy about the objectification, but we do like that the guy treated to the all-men couch seems to prefer the male version, and that’s not the punchline! Our only complaint: Wouldn’t dudes this muscular be hard to sit on? Give us a soft couch of sexy fat guys any day.
2. Michael Hill, “We’re For Love” (2015)
Sadly, this ad for Michael Hill, the Australian jewelers, didn’t run nationally. It only aired in Chicago and Canada. But It’s a great piece that looks at all varieties of love, featuring gay and straight couples cuddling and kissing. The longer version of the ad includes a voice-over saying:
When given, it’s an expression of love. Young love, old love, motherly love, straight love, gay love, forbidden love, brotherly love. It seals love, nurtures, creates, kindles and declares love for all the world to see. We don’t care what kind of love you’re into, we just want to make sure you get your fair share. Michael Hill. We’re for love.
3. Axe, “Find Your Magic” (2016)
Though Axe normally positions itself as the fragrance of frat boy douchebags everywhere, 2016’s commercial was much more inclusive. The Super Bowl featured a 30-second cut of a 60-second ad, but we’ve included the full version above just because it’s a bit gayer. We get to see a dancing voguer “rock those heels” and a cute couple of college boys flirting in a record store.
4. MINI Clubman, “Defy Labels” (2016)
In this spot about the MINI Clubman car, celebrities and normal people throw disparaging labels at the car. (For example, Serena Williams calls it a “chick car.”) But our heart goes out to retired soccer player Abby Wambach who call it a “gay” car while making air quotes, helping the spot make clear that it’s not saying “gay” like some unenlightened bozos do to mean “bad,” but more like the “lesbian” stereotype Subarus have.
5. Airbnb, “#WeAccept” (2017)
Sadly, last year didn’t have a lot of gay super bowl commercials. Coca-Cola re-ran its 2014 “America the Beautiful” spot, but other than that, this Airbnb ad is pretty much it. Though where that Coke spot comes off as pristine and cloying, the Airbnb spot is more successful at half the length.
The Airbnb spot shows a series of split-screens with the faces of different people from all walks of life as superimposed text reads: “We believe no matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love or who you worship, we all belong. The world is more beautiful the more you accept. #WeAccept.”
The spot is much more unassuming than the Coke spot and ends up becoming more resonant. (Now if Airbnb could just do something about the actual discrimination on its app, we’d be set.)