Sexualized Pride ads stir debate about ‘problematic’ undertones in LGBTQ marketing campaigns
Postmates, Burger King, Dr Pepper and even toilet paper brand Cottonelle have run ads that make oblique references to anal sex.
Recently, amid a flurry of rainbow-accented commercials featuring same-sex couples embracing one another, food delivery service Postmates debuted its ad campaign for Pride Month, leaning into the aspect of gay sex.
The company, which is owned by the ride-hailing service Uber, released a “bottom-friendly” food menu for consumers in New York City and Los Angeles. A commercial for the menu depicted a harness-clad eggplant as a “top” and a peach wearing jockstrap underwear as a “bottom.” Throughout the narrated video, the pair approach various food items, some of which are easily digestible for people who are preparing for anal sex, while others are not.
“If you’re a top, it seems like you can eat whatever you want,” said the ad’s narrator, social media influencer Rob Anderson. “But if you’re a bottom, you’re expected to starve? Not this Pride.”
Postmates is not alone in producing sexualized imagery to market to LGBTQ consumers during Pride Month. Burger King, Dr Pepper and even toilet paper brand Cottonelle have run ads that make oblique references to anal sex. But LGBTQ marketers and experts in LGBTQ communications are divided on whether the sexualized ads are an inadvertent tool to discriminate against queer sex and sexuality or a sign of progress.
Bob Witeck, president of Witeck Communications, a firm specializing in LGBTQ marketing, called the trend “unusual” and “problematic.”