DirecTV Kicked Off the NFL Season With an Ad Featuring a Gay Couple

Perfect (and coincidental) timing as Michael Sam joined the Cowboys

A same-sex couple locked in an embrace (or is it a tackle?) smash through their home in slow-motion in a surprisingly inclusive spot for DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket.

These guys have a "friendly rivalry." One roots for the New York Giants, and the other for the Dallas Cowboys. At first, viewers might think it's just a moment of roughhousing between friends, but they eventually make it clear by saying that, while they may argue sometimes, "we're just like any couple."

Despite the nod to the Cowboys, the ad from Grey New York was almost certainly filmed before the team signed Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted into the National Football League. The spot broke last Thursday during the NFL's first regular-season game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks.

Sports has factored into several pro-LGBT ads lately. To protest Russia's anti-gay laws ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, a Canadian equal rights group created a PSA that claimed, "The games have always been a little gay," a reference to the visual association one might make concerning the two-man luge. While applauding the spot's good intentions, some felt the humor reinforced stereotypes. Norwegian apparel firm XXL took a different tack with its mini-epic Olympic commercial with a lesbian twist.

Some commenters have disparaged the "little yippity dog" in the DirecTV spot as a homosexual cliche, but it otherwise has received a pretty warm response from LGBT advocates. The ad scores because it levels the playing field and presents its themes in the same loud, goofy and accessible style as the client's other "Most Powerful Fan" commercials. Here, sports fandom becomes a fun, credible metaphor for inclusiveness. DirecTV called the right play.

Via The Advocate.

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