Ad of the Day: Remarkable, Surreal Ad Casts LGBT Struggles as an Obstacle Course

Step into the shoes of a lifelong warrior

The war for equality advances in fits and starts. And for those who aren't in the line of fire, it's easy to assume the work is done with a few high-profile protests and major court rulings. But that isn't really true. Many of the battles that have yet to be won are insidious and hard to see. 

That's the subject of "The Obstacle Course." Created by TBWA Paris for Inter-LGBT, the ad starts out like a common nightmare: You're a kid back at school, and everyone is staring at you in the long, leisurely silence before inevitable attack.

You get up and run, and time flies by—but the onslaught never stops. 

Among other enemies, you'll find yourself on the ground surrounded by boys at camp, the subject of cruel inside jokes during a game of Spin the Bottle, the reason for your mother's tears, and the recipient of many knowing—or downright reproachful—stares.

Along the way, you will be kicked, muddied and generally forced to survive on your own.

"Until society progresses, we will keep moving forward," the ad concludes, even as, exhausted, our protagonist continues to run.

The ad is distressing in part because it never loses its sense of dreamy surreality. Anyone who's ever been excluded or marginalized will find something to identify with—and once inside, the tight contours of a life spent navigating social spaces not intended for the "different" become both tangible and oppressive. 

"The Obstacle Course" was directed by Ben Briand of Moonwalk Films, and comes just in time to draw awareness, and hopefully support, for France's Pride Marches, which take place in June.

CREDITS

Client: Inter-LGBT

Agency: TBWA\Paris

Advertiser managers: Aurore Foursy and Jérôme Beaugé, chairpeople, Amandine Miguel and Clémence Zamora-Cruz, spokespeople

Project initiative: Sylvie Fondacci and Nicolas Rividi

Agency managers: Anne Vincent, Laure Lagarde, Isabelle Dray, Christophe Moiroud

Executive Creative directors: Benjamin Marchal and Faustin Claverie

Creative director: Marianne Fonferrier

Artistic director: Sébastien Skrzypczak

Copywriter : Stéphane Kaczorowski

CEO \Else : Maxime Boiron

TV Producer: Évelyne Lebervet

Production: Moonwalk Films

Director: Ben Briand

Producer: Alexis Bensa

Production coordinator: Angelina Coisne

Executive producer: Stéphane Floch

Location manager: Julien Lebourg

Editing: Night Shift – Philippe Joubert

Sound: \ELSE

Head of Sound and music : Olivier Lefebvre

Music artistic director: Philippe Mineur

Sound producer and director: Fabrice Pouvreau

Sound designers: Fabrice Pouvreau, Anaïs Khout

Original music by: Jean-Pierre Taïeb

Released by: Cutting Edge