7 LGBTQ Advertisements That Caused Unnecessary Backlash

It’s 2016. We have advertisements featuring cows on trampolines, commercials with period parties…we even have phone commercials featuring Drake dancing in a turtleneck, which is truly a gift to this world. But the moment a gay couple is featured in an ad campaign? People go wild. And not in a good way. For some reason, as soon as you throw in a not-straight couple into some form of media, people get incredibly angry. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that these people exist in the world, but believe me, they do, and they love to shout about it.

Recently, the hotel company Hilton released a new advertisement featuring a gay couple just hanging out in their hotel bed, as anyone would, since hotel beds are comfy AF. Check out the ad here:



What is wrong with this ad? Literally nothing. A happy couple and free wi-fi?! It’s the American dream! And yet, people are furious about it. The American Family Association created a petition to stop publishing the add because the idea of two people of the same gender sleeping together is “unnatural and offensive.” The worst part is that the petition actually obtained over 48,000 signatures. WTF, America?  The good news is that Hilton defended their ad, saying they take pride in depicting diversity in their advertising, as they should!

Unfortunately, backlash happens a lot. People get uncomfortable with any advertisement that is not what they are used to, but it’s so good to have all different types of couples and families in advertisements, in order to portray real lives. After all, there are nine million LGBTQ+ identifying citizens in the US, and they deserve to be recognized without being criticized. But, since people love criticizing, there are so many ad campaigns that, like the Hilton one, cause rage from certain Americans. Take a look at these past ads with same-sex couples that have caused a stir.

Wells Fargo Commercial

I dare you to watch this and try not to cry. I am crying as I'm typing this. This commercial follows a lesbian couple who learn sign language in order to adopt a deaf child. HOW can people hate this? Certain people decided to actually cancel their Wells Fargo bank accounts after this commercial aired. How do these people live without hearts?

Cambell's Soup Ad

This video is so amazing.  It features two dads sharing soup with their son, saying the famous "I am your father" line from Star Wars. Yet, a group called One Million Moms said the commercial promoted an "unnatural marriage." How can two days eating soup with their kid be unnatural? Ugh.

Chobani Yogurt Commercial

This commercial shows a woman eating yogurt in bed while another woman is asleep next to her. It's harmless and sweet, but the campaign sparked backlash from the very angry people at One Million Moms who said the commercial was inappropriate and crossed a line. What is even worse is some of the comments on the video itself, with some people saying that it "made them sick." An awful thing to say about a woman just trying to enjoy her yogurt in peace.

Graham Crackers Commercial

This ad actually made people boycott graham crackers. What? How will you enjoy your s'mores? A simple scene of two dads with their family eating graham crackers was enough to make a talk show host tell all of her listeners to stop eating the product, saying there is nothing wholesome about a gay family. There is nothing wholesome about a person who attacks a family for eating graham crackers!


Surprisingly, advertisements featuring gay couples can be traced back all the way to 1994, when this IKEA ad was the first ad featuring a gay couple to air on national TV. It didn't go over very well, as one IKEA store had to be evacuated due to bomb threats because of the ad. Now that's really scary.

J.C. Penney Ad

One Million Moms loves to stir up some controversy. They responded to this J.C. Penney ad featuring two dads by saying homosexuality is wrong and asked people to stop shopping at the store. Of course, J.C. Penney fired back by hiring an openly gay spokesperson, Ellen Degeneres. Well done, JCP.

McDonald's Commercial

Unfortunately, the US isn't the only country that has backlash against their diverse advertisements. This ad from Taiwan featured a man coming out to his father at a McDonald's restaurant by writing it on a coffee cup (this site has the translation). But certain groups in Taiwan started boycotting the restaurant after they said the ad promotes same-sex relationships. Fortunately, the backlash didn't stop the video from getting 92,000 likes on Facebook and a ton of positive feedback.

What do you think of these ads? Which ones did we miss? Tell us in the comments!

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