Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Coca Cola Reasons To Believe - 2013

Coca Cola Reasons To Believe UK - 2013

Ogilvy & Mather developed the 'Reasons To Believe' campaign in 2013 to be used worldwide to promote Coca Cola, with the exact footage and wording differing from territory to territory. The press attention the advert received in the UK was mostly around how the Irish version of the ad had switched the gay marriage scene for one of an interracial marriage.

I couldn't find a full version of the UK advert on YouTube.

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LGBT+ TV Adverts

Monday, 30 January 2017

40 Question Meme

40 Questions Meme

40 question blogger challenge I ganked from Dreamwidth. :)

Sunday, 29 January 2017

This Week #67

I can resist anything except temptation
Life This Week

Not much of interest to report. I had Healthier Scrutiny committee, but I've not been very healthy myself! This weekend especially I've just wanted to curl up in a ball. I have so much stuff I need to catch up on so hopefully I'm going to wake up feeling human tomorrow morning. Wish me luck!

Photo of the Week
Marianna in boots
I Have Been Mostly...


☆ WRITING: About those Nazi punching memes doing the rounds.

☆ WATCHING: Anthony's been watching Fraiser, so I've had to see a lot of it too. It's okay, way better than the more modern US sitcoms he insists we watch.

 LISTENING: A romance playlist because it was St Dwynwen's Day this week.

☆ WEARING: Socks.

☆ EATING: I had some Space Raiders the other day. Blast from the past!


On the Blog

My posting every day pledge was falling seriously behind, so I've decided to cross-post my queer history posts from Tumblr to the blog. It means I have less to write overall, and it's easier to archive and find things here than it is on Tumblr.

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This Week - Weekly Overviews

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Marmite - 2003 Advert

Marmite - You either love it or hate it
Marmite - You either love it or hate it
Marmite - You either love it or hate it
Marmite - You either love it or hate it

This 2003 advert for Marmite spread - you either love it or hate it - attracted 71 complaints. The ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) deemed it to be inoffensive and it continued to air without restriction. The ITC (Ofcom’s predecessor) ruled that the kiss was a “clearly jokey scenario” and did not portray “homosexual intimacy or indeed sexual or romantic activity of any sort.”

Marmite claimed that this was the first same-sex kiss in UK advertising, but there had been a few before it.

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LGBT+ TV Adverts

Friday, 27 January 2017

Friday Frivolity - Advice for New Parents

Friday Frivolity

The inlinkz in this post is ready to go but I'll add the rest in the morning - 3am is my limit! :)

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Thomas Cook - 2016 Ad

Thomas Cook 2016

Thomas Cook 2016

Thomas Cook 2016

Thomas Cook 2016

Thomas Cook, one of the best known travel agencies in the UK, launched a ‘bold and contemporary’ ad just in time for Christmas 2016, featuring a same sex kiss and a family with two dads.

Jamie Queen, marketing director for Thomas Cook Group and UK, told Marketing Week: “I think marketers can always do more to represent the needs of the consumer and that’s what we’ve tried to do with the gay kiss. It comes down to the needs of our customers and addressing a modern population.”

I haven’t seen anything in the media about complaints being received, which suggests there haven’t been significant numbers.

For more like this, please click the image below:
LGBT+ TV Adverts

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

The Bill

Master post for Tumblr write-ups on queer themes in long running ITV cop show 'The Bill'.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Spread the Love Playlist

Spread the Love Playlist

One or more of these has provided the backing track to just about every piece of romantic fiction I've ever written...

Monday, 23 January 2017

Nazi Punching

I keep seeing the Nazi punch memes going around on social media and it made me think of this clip from The Thin Blue Line:


In just a few three second gifs this kind of sums up why 'go forth and punch a Nazi' is hardly as straightforward a sentiment as it might first appear. How do we define Nazi - is an underage teenager who spouts right wing opinion as ripe for physical assault as an adult who organizes Neo-Nazi marches?

Then there's the sticky question of whether just anyone can punch a Nazi. If a straight white male police officer - some would argue the very definition of 'privilege' - is provoked, does it make it acceptable for him to punch a person in custody? Or is it only okay if he did it on the street and out of uniform, for everyone to witness? What consequences, if any, should the puncher face? Who gets to say where the tipping point is for equal redress under the law to longer apply?

Finally, that last gif really points to the most hardhitting reality. Vile views don't spring up fully formed in the minds of those who hold them. They're planted, they're nutured, and, ultimately, do we believe that challenging them with more violence can ever truly rid the world of them?

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Barclays Personalised Debit Cards

Barclays Personalised Debit Cards

Barclays Personalised Debit Cards

Barclays became the first UK bank to feature a same sex couple in a TV ad in 2012. They have been the headline sponsor of Pride in London and are recognised as one of the country’s most supportive LGBT+ employers - its in-house ‘Spectrum’ network has over 3,000 members.

There was little interest in the story from the mainstream press, although various LGBT+ publications ran interviews with the real life couple who starred in the ad. Eg. from Gay Star News:

When Barclays decided to include a gay couple in their new personalized debit card commercial in the UK, they didn’t just hire two actors. Instead they picked Niki Mahona, 23, outside his job at London’s famous Selfridges department store. And they gave him and his 19-year-old real-life boyfriend, Luis Donegan-Brown – who also works at Selfridges – a taste of fame. 
The couple have only been together for just over a year but now they have the claim to fame of being one of the very few same-sex partnerships ever depicted in a British mainstream TV commercial. And it’s been a success – so far an incredible 300,000 Barclays customers have personalized their debit cards. With the help of Barclays LGBT Spectrum network, we found out more. 
How did you come to be involved in the personalised debit card advert? 
Everything happened so quickly, Luis and I were ‘street cast’ on 15 August and by the 24 August we were in Holborn Studio having still shots done for the photo booth scene and then on 31 August we were on location in Tollington Square, London, for the live shoot. 
What was it like? 
The whole experience felt awesome. We were just told to be ourselves and not to overplay. For the still shots, Luis and I were just fooling around against the blue screen, giving piggybacks and being silly. It quickly becomes clear what does and doesn’t work and I think they were pleased with the end result. There was a really good atmosphere at the shoot with pumping music so it was easy for them to capture our personalities in this way. It all felt natural apart from the excessive smiling – my jaw was sore at the end of the day! 
What was the most memorable thing about taking part? 
Definitely the wow factor when we saw our printed card for the first time. It sounds corny, but it was magical. I was like ‘oh my God, I want a card like that!’ It’s not just made me want to bank with Barclays, I want to come and work for Barclays! I have been so impressed by everyone I’ve met; all the frontline colleagues seemed like best friends. 
How do you feel about being a visible gay person in a TV advert? 
I feel really proud. I am proud that I can be open about my sexuality and not shy away from comments. For many people who aren’t able to come out, I would hope that this might help plant the seed in their mind that they too can be open. 
Some viewers have commented that because there was no kiss, it’s not clear enough that you are a gay couple. What would you say to them? 
When we were filming, this subject did come up, but we shouldn’t have to kiss. Men and women shown cuddling are assumed to be in a couple, so why can’t it be the same for us? Sex sells in advertising, but emotion stays; I think that’s what you remember as a viewer. 
What do you get up to when you’re not starring in TV ads? 
This was a first! I’m an assistant manager in Selfridges, but my passion is singing. I am from Denmark and I used to have a band there. I tried to do the same here, but there’s just not enough time; London’s a busy place to live. The experience of appearing in the Barclays commercial has motivated me to do more in the acting space, so you may see more of me again in the future – watch this space!

For more like this, please click the image below:
LGBT+ TV Adverts

Saturday, 21 January 2017

NatWest Cashback Plus

NatWest - Cashback Plus

NatWest - Cashback Plus

NatWest - Cashback Plus

NatWest - Cashback Pluse

NatWest - Cashback Pluse

I really loved this 2013 advert for NatWest bank featuring twins who are similar in some ways, but opposite in others. There was no fanfare over its release, and little mainstream media interest. Just a sweet ad that invariably threw people on the first watch - you think she’s leading a super secret spy double life or something until they meet up in the coffee shop!

For more like this, please click the image below:
LGBT+ TV Adverts

Friday, 20 January 2017

Friday Frivolity: Weird Baby Gifts

Friday Frivolity

This week we're talking about gifts, the kind you get for new arrivals, and just how strange some of them can be.

Shower visors! I actually bought one of these before Marianna was born and we never used it. It's one of those things that seems like a great idea until you realise you're more likely to be pouring a little bit of water with your hand, not blasting your baby's head with a shower head, and getting it on will probably be more trouble than the few seconds of rinsing.

Baby headbands with fake hair. You can get them with fringes (bangs), or little pigtails, or even full on wigs. I actually won one of these for 1p in a round of eBay Bargain Hunt and it was totally bemusing. I tried peeling off the hair so we could actually use the hairband but it did not want to come loose!

Snot suckers! These can be useful but the idea is just so nauseating. Especially when you can get little bulbous ones that you pump instead of having any connection between your mouth and your child's snot...

Branded baby trainers. Don't get me wrong, these are super cute! Just so crazy expensive and impractical when you consider they will only be able to wear them for a couple of weeks. Besides, if people want to buy shoes, mummy's always a grateful recipient... ;)

Thursday, 19 January 2017

On the Buses

On The Buses, 1969. Aunt Maud comes to visit and asks awkward questions about why Stan isn't married - and why he spends so much time with his bus conductor... 

It's funny Stan never got married, isn't it?
What do you mean oooh? well, I hope he's not going to turn out like Uncle Herbert
And why shouldn't I turn out like Uncle Herbert? It's something we don't talk about, love
Well, it's just that he was, uh, you know. But it's alright now because it's legal! Blimey

On the Buses was a hugely popular ITV sitcom - like, it had its own comic strip and the stars were mobbed in the streets popular - with seven series and three feature films produced between 1969 and 1973. It followed Stan Bulter (Reg Varney), his family, and his worklife as a bus driver alongside best friend and bus conductor, Jack Harper (Bob Grant) - most of which involved skiving off and / or avoiding the wrath of Inspector ‘Blakey’ Blake (Stephen Lewis).

This clip is from S2:E4 ‘Aunt Maud’, and originally aired at 7pm on 21st June 1969 to an audience of millions. When Aunt Maud comes to stay, she asks awkward questions about why Arthur and Olive (Stan’s little sister) have no children despite being married nine years, and why Stan still hasn’t even managed to make it down the aisle… Like most popular ‘low brow’ sitcoms of the day, On the Buses used camp innuendo for laughs - both Stan and Jack played up the limp wristed stereotype in a few episodes, usually as part of their neverending quest for ‘crumpet’ (women).

What is interesting about this scene though, imo, is that for 1969 - just two years after homosexuality was legalised in the UK - it’s a fairly frank and non-judgemental treatment. Arthur, Stan’s brother-in-law, comments ‘what a family I married into’ but Stan himself doesn’t fly off the handle, or spend longer than a few moments sulking. Nor does Arthur freak out about having to share a bed with Stan that night, so Aunt Maud can sleep in Stan’s room.

I generally think that sitcoms have been under-utilised in queer history studies because, yeah, the subject is rarely treated seriously. But. As extrememly popular entertainment, scenes like this arguably had a bigger impact - especially on younger viewers - than even highly acclaimed LGBTQ+ themed films like Ken Russell’s Women In Love, which was also released in 1969 with a X (over 18s only) certificate.

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TV and Film History

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Bless This House

Bless This House, 1971. Sid wishes his son was more of a man's man - especially when he learns he's going out with a ballet dancer named Eugene...

Bless This House was a popular ITV (Thames Television) sitcom which ran for six series between 1971 and 1976, and spawned a feature film in 1972. It followed stationery salesman Sid Abbott (Carry On star and household name Sid James) as he attempted to make sense of the cultural chasm between himself and his children, 16-year-old schoolgirl Sally and 18-year-old layabout Mike, fresh out of art college and more interested in political protest than finding gainful employment.

This clip is from the very first episode, ‘The Generation Gap’, which originally aired 2nd February 1971. Sid is worried about his kids - Sally has taken to wearing padded bras and appears to be on the contraceptive pill, while Mike doesn’t seem to be interested in attracting the opposite sex at all. Of course, it eventually turns out that Mike and Eugene are taking a pair of nurses on a double date, and that Sid has been worrying about nothing all along. I still like how they actually approach it with Mike though, for all the freaking out going on when he’s not in the room. He’s their son first and foremost.

The other thing I like about this episode is how it highlights the stupidity of Sid’s double standards. It’s completely unacceptable for Sally to want a boyfriend, but he’s dismayed that Mike - who is only slightly older - isn’t out with a different girl every night. His justification that ‘it’s different for boys, they can’t get into trouble’ is called out for the hypocrisy it is, and his plans to get Mike to act more promiscuously backfire spectacularly.

The double standard was a theme the show dealt with regularly, and more explicitly than a lot of its contemporaries. It was far from revolutionary, but it’s satisfying all the same to see Sid’s old fashioned ideas constantly challenged and get him into trouble.

You can watch the full episode on YouTube HERE.

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TV and Film History

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