Brands love to associate themselves with the prowess, discipline and sheer brilliance of Olympic athletes.
Big brands sponsor the games, showing their respect for the best in their field and borrowing a bit of their glory by association.
Other brands try to jump on board using athletic images in their advertising and cheering on their country’s teams.
This year, some brand ads have taken a turn that seems to me to be completely off piste.
The Olympic Games themselves seem to be running unscathed by Russia’s rejection of Gay Rights. However several brands have chosen that particular trail to hurl down in their own brand-defining luge.
Below are two ads that try to use humour to offer support to gay athletes. I don’t see how they help the cause.
Where is the celebration of athletic feats that astonish us? Where is the respect for the years of training, endurance and drive to be the best? Where in these ads do the brands make the point that personal sexual preference is not an issue?
Last year Channel 4 did an outstanding job of raising awareness of Paralympians as Super Humans. If you missed their promotion click here to watch it.
They helped redefine disability and put their athletic achievement first and foremost in our minds. They helped shift our perceptions.
These two ads don’t do anything so noble. They use gay stereo types to get a laugh and do little to help build respect for alternative lifestyles.
Have a look and let me know what you think, does this humour do the job?