Outward

Colgate’s “Smile With Pride” Ad Gleams With True Queer Allyship

Last week, I womp-womped  the beginning of Pride month commercial season by calling out Bud Light for their rather cynical attempt at brand queerance by having straight ambassadors Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen sip cheap beer at a gay wedding. So today, let’s highlight a better-executed attempt at the genre!

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Points to Colgate for their toothsomely gay-friendly ad, which comes to us from Mexico (and is thus in Spanish). The spot features a handsome couple moving into their new apartment. Just as they’re trying to haul a tastefully low-profile sofa up the building stairwell—a task undoubtedly made all the more difficult by having vanity gym muscles rather than workaday ones—they encounter an elderly resident with (presumably) his grandson. Uh oh! Will the old, in an effort to defend the youth’s innocence, avert his eyes from the invading homosexuals or, better yet, push them down the stairs in a fit of heteropurist rage? Our couple looks concerned.

Surprise! He does not. As the old and the youth move in to help with the couch, the former says “Bienvenidos,” and, relieved, our homo hero says, “Gracias!” All is well. The happy couple collapse onto their homo sofa and, perhaps after brushing their teeth with a fine daub of Colgate toothpaste, will surely christen the new abode with a fine bout of homo sex.

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I jest, but this Prideful ad really does deserve some snaps. The spot has been described as the first Mexican ad featuring a gay couple and it comes just weeks after Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto proposed revisions to the country’s constitution that would allow for same-sex marriage. Also, the associated #SmileWithPride hashtag will flood your screen with cute couples.

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But what I like best about these 30 seconds is how, rather than merely invoking the community with safe images of weddings or ladies holding hands on the beach, they’re a truly relatable snapshot of the gay experience. Many of us really do worry if our neighbors will greet us with hate or with a helping hand, and the spot’s tagline—translated as “Sometimes you just need a smile”—is totally accurate. Something as simple as a smile, a held door, or a polite how’s your partner? can make a huge difference in whether or not LGBTQ people feel welcome in a given community. So here’s to Colgate for reminding viewers of that simple but crucial fact while also promoting their minty brand. 

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