Amazon’s Gay Kindle Spot: A Nice Surprise, or a Little Forced?

Paperwhite ad gets mixed reviews

Amazon's gay-marriage-friendly "Husbands" ad for its Kindle Paperwhite e-reader with built-in light is generating lots of conversation, most of it positive, though there is some criticism in the mix. The brand's bikini pitchwoman Anna Zielinski banters a bit about the product with a guy at the beach. He says he's just ordered a Paperwhite and suggests they "celebrate," so it seems like he's trying to pick her up. "My husband's bringing me a drink right now," she says. "So is mine!" he replies. Some reviewers are ecstatic, while others lament that the gay theme has little to do with the plot or product. And of course, various conservative commentators have offered their predictable reactions. Ten years ago, the twist would've been quite a revelation. Today, the punch line seems like no big deal—it actually feels underwhelming. Perhaps that's a sign of how much progress has been made, with mainstream marketers seeing the light and routinely putting gay characters in ads. I happen to think the commercial ends too soon. One gal, three guys, a bar full of booze … sounds like a doozy of a celebration!

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.