With a cute (sigh, I guess) new ad from Campbell—makers of the weak gesture toward chicken noodle soup that’s only passable when you’re deathly sick—the rebranding of gay people as “wholesome” continues apace. The 30-second version of the spot features a couple of gay dads feeding their son a new Star Wars-themed broth while fighting over who gets to say Darth Vader’s “I am your father” line. Part of Campbell’s current “Made for Real, Real Life” campaign, the juxtaposition of mass-produced canned soup and safely apolitical pop cultural references with a gay family successfully incorporates the latter into the context of “real” America. Or something like that.
An interesting note about the actors: Out observed that the real, real life couple, David Monahan and Larry Sullivan, are making something of a career out of affording corporations the gay-friendly cred they crave—the pair recently did a similar turn in a commercial for Sabra hummus. You could look at this as yet another example of a cynical market coopting gay life for financial gain, but I think there’s actually a little joke going on. We all know that no real, real life gay man would ever allow canned condensed soup or prepared hummus anywhere near his home.