Like everyone else in the country, we are horrified and saddened at the mass shooting that occurred at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida on Sunday morning. Over 49 women and men were killed and dozens more injured by a person filled with hate and armed with an assault weapon.
The shooting happened at a time when gay pride festivities were occurring across the country, where people came together to celebrate love and togetherness. The attack also happened a week before Father’s Day, another celebration of love and appreciation.
In recent years, support on gay marriage has increased steadily. According to a Pew Research Center poll, in 2001, Americans opposed same-sex marriage by a margin of 57% to 35%. According to the 2016 poll, 55% of Americans now support gay marriage, compared to 37%.
The advertising industry, following public opinion, has also opened its doors to be more inclusive and diverse. Last year, Campbell’s Soup released its #RealRealLife campaign, featuring real families and what goes on when it’s time for that soup. In one spot, a real-life gay couple is featured feeding their toddler some Campbell’s. One father feeds his son the Star Wars-themed soup while reciting the famous line “I am your father,” and then the other father swoops in and declares “no, no I am your father.”
The heartwarming spot was widely praised for its inclusion and its celebration of the simple joys in every household, regardless of what a family looks like. Predictably, not everyone was thrilled about the spot, including the notorious anti-LBGTQ organization, One Million Moms.
In response, Campbell’s stood steadfast. VP of Marketing Activation Yin Woon Rani, said in a statement, “The American family is changing faster than at any time in recent history and it is now a true mosaic of shapes and sizes, all bonded through love, and love of good food.” Campbell’s was also noted by the Human Right’s Campaign as one of the best places to work for LGBTQ employees.
Campbell’s isn’t alone in its efforts to be more inclusive. Several other brands have also released ads featuring prominent gay celebrities or gay couples. Back in 2012, travel company Expedia released an emotional spot featuring a dad flying to his daughter’s wedding to another woman. In the spot, the dad narrates the ad, talking about his journey to accept and celebrate his daughter and her marriage. The spot ends with the line “Find Your Understanding.”
So, as we continue to reflect and look forward to Father’s Day, is there nothing more Dad would want us to do but to love a little more and hate a little less?