16 of the Gayest Ads in History

From Ivory soap to Marky Mark

With advertisements from The Gap, Amazon’s Kindle and JCPenney acclimating the public eye to seeing frank images of same-sex couples, it’s easy to conclude that we’re simply seeing the product of relaxed, millennial mores. Not so. The fact is that American advertising has featured images of male-on-male intimacy for a century now. While these images were frequently ambiguous (and, in many cases, furtive or inadvertent) their presence is as undeniable as the conclusion they point to: However marketers have come to define “gay advertising” today, the genre has, in one form or another, been with us much longer than we realize. Here, a peek at some of the more interesting examples.

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