Over the past two years, the advertising industry in Brazil has produced campaigns that specifically target the LGBT public
It seems there is a new order in the world of marketing. Agencies the world over, including Brazil, have been producing campaigns of late that, if not designed to speak exclusively to Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender people (LGBT), make a point of talking to everyone, clearly promoting their inclusion.
In Brazil this phenomenon began a little over two years ago, when in 2014, on the eve of Gay Pride Day, the first self-styled TV commercial to feature a gay kiss was aired on television.
It was the work of the Movimento Espírito Lilás, which featured a male couple in a familiar, domestic setting. Interestingly, just two days later, the car manufacturer Fiat launched a campaign that also featured a gay kiss – in this case between two girls. The advertisement was for the World Cup 2014 in Brazil, and made reference to the public demonstrations of June 2013, when the Brazilian population “took to the streets” to demand political change in Brazil.
A number of other campaigns also ran with specific reference to the LGB community. In truth, most had little impact. Either because they were primarily online campaigns or the discretional editing of the scenes – in Skol’s commercial for the Lollapalooza Festival, for example, there was a lesbian kiss that only lasted a few frames of video, less than one second in air time.
Until, however, a national TV campaign for O Boticário was created to promote Valentine’s Day in 2015. Aired during prime time viewing, in the ad breaks of the most popular television programmes throughout Brazil, the advertisement portrayed men and women buying presents for their partners in O Boticário stores and it’s not until the end of the film that it becomes clear that they are all gay couples. The impact was immediate. O Boticário. Suffice to say, in terms of winning and losing clients, the cosmetic giant enjoyed a significant increase in sales.
It happened again this year, in May, this time with retailer C&A. Their creative campaign chose to rename Valentine’s Day, Dia dos Misturados / Day of the Mixed (a phonetic joke in Portuguese), and suggested that everyone should wear whatever clothes they wanted, regardless of whether the garments were masculine or feminine. The overarching message is not to worry about the opinions of others, feel free to dress as you wish. Or, as the slogan of the campaign suggests, “mix, dare, try”. According to the brand, “the 12 June (Valentine’s Day in Brazil) is the day in which love is mixed with laughter, warmth with complicity, with boldness, style, passion and achievement. It is the day to be beautiful and be with who you like. ”
And what’s the result of all this? What impact does it have on advertising and fashion? Some experts claim that it’s risky for brands to run such daring campaigns given the necessity these days for companies to truly live and breathe what they preach. The results could be catastrophic if a company, for example, received a complaint or was accused of prejudice; the campaign would be rendered nothing more than “opportunistic”.
The reality is that the world is changing, Brazil too, and although we’re learning to respect each other’s differences, desires, fantasies and wants, the journey has only just begun.
Watch the campaigns that include
Movimento do Espírito Lilás – https://youtu.be/an_h8rxtYvQ – 16/5/2014
FIAT, Come to the party, come on – https://youtu.be/3Q8mBTa9xKY – 18/5/2014
Festival Mix Brasil, Everyone is gay – https://youtu.be/Z-jV9yVg04c – 4/11/2014
Skol, Lollapalooza – https://youtu.be/WoRdfdCjBbU – 16/3/2015
Melendez/Sonho de Valsa, #PenseMenosAmeMais – https://youtu.be/HYWyzYJhQyk – 12/4/2015
Frequência Gay – https://youtu.be/Wgw37KGykCA – 29/4/2015
GOL, Mother’s Day – https://youtu.be/Co6Oe-9PRqY – 4/5/2015
O Boticário, Valentine’s Day – https://youtu.be/p4b8BMnolDI – 25/5/2015
Motorola, Gay Parade 2015 – https://www.instagram.com/p/3cPS5cJam4/ – 6/6/2015
Note.: the dates refer to when the advertisements went to air on the internet and/or the TV.