This ad is so mainstream looking it could almost appear anywhere, yet a close look reveals that it is only guys having a good time and casually touching one another. The subtle tagline says, "Come out and play."
Miller has a very long history of gay marketing, starting in San Francisco in the mid-1970s with sponsorship of the leather-oriented Folsom Street Fair and later Pride Parades.
Early ads began in 1979 in New Orleans' Impact magazine and later in the The Blade in Washington DC. Miller has run ads such as this for years in support of the gay community and the fight against AIDS. National ads began in 1994, including an extension of the mainstream "Life is Good" campaign and a tongue-in-cheek series of paper dolls.
Miller Brewing Co., along with Anheuser-Busch, have the distinction of being among the few companies that advertises in gay media and also have a mainstream media commercial with a gay theme.
Beer companies are well represented in The Commercial Closet, largely due to an effort in the mid-1990s to pull away from the industry's longterm sexist advertising themes that objectified women. Such commercials were summed up by the Swedish Bikini Team ads from Stroh Brewing Co. for Old Milwaukee. Looking for new material to mine, brewers began extensively playing with gay and transgender themes in their advertising. However, because beer drinkers are stereotypically macho, the tone of many of the ads were more negative.
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