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#1
Old 06-20-2010, 04:59 PM
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Latest Progressive Ad; those guys are gay, right?

In one of the more recent Progressive Insurance ads, two guys approach Flo and the short guy with thick black-framed glasses and tightly cropped hair and a shirt with a rainbow band on it says he needs to start saving money, and he's with a taller blonde guy. My gaydar is usually pretty decent, but I just wondered if I was imagining the subtext here. Assuming they are meant to be a gay couple, it strikes me that this is the first time I've seen a gay couple in a TV ad for anything that is not specifically targeted for gay people. Thoughts?
#2
Old 06-20-2010, 05:06 PM
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Well, one of them does have a rainbow stripe on his T shirt. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course.


eta: you spotted the rainbow

Last edited by Tapioca Dextrin; 06-20-2010 at 05:07 PM. Reason: me dum
#3
Old 06-20-2010, 05:11 PM
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If one member of a couple is needing money, do they often sell stuff to their significant other? I think they're just friends. But it could be an attempt to be progressive (ha) for those that make that conclusion and understated enough that someone who would be upset about such a reference wouldn't pick up on it. Thus not alienating either the liberal or conservative markets.
#4
Old 06-20-2010, 05:14 PM
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There was a gay couple in a cell phone ad a few years ago. It was for some kind of friends and family plan, and there were about ten short clips of one family member realizing that all of their calls were to another family member. One of them was with two men. I can't recall what cell phone company it was, though.

I haven't seen the ad in question, is it on youtube?
#5
Old 06-20-2010, 05:19 PM
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This one.
#6
Old 06-20-2010, 05:56 PM
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Okay, thanks for the link Inner Stickler. Having seen the ad now, I would say that they are NOT a gay couple. If they were, blond guy probably would have helped his boyfriend out in a more financially generous way than buying his watch from dark haired guy. And then refusing to sell it back at the end? That's kinda harsh. If they are boyfriends, dark haired guy should dump blond guy.
#7
Old 06-20-2010, 06:01 PM
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I don't think they're an item, but I do think they're both totally gay. I never noticed the rainbow stripe on the shirt, though. Heh.
#8
Old 06-20-2010, 06:03 PM
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Yes it's intensely gay. They are gay friends, SOs or FWBs. This isn't even gaydar territory. The gayness is slapping you in the face like a big, meaty gay penis.

The ad does point to a distinction in male and female relationships. A man and woman whether friends, SO's or FWBs could never have a realistic dialogue where the man bought the watch (or whatever) off the woman and refuses to give or sell it back. Men can have hard nosed rules about this even if they are lovers, in a male-female scenario the man (friend or otherwise) would always be compelled to give or sell the watch back or risk being labeled a complete shit.

Last edited by astro; 06-20-2010 at 06:08 PM.
#9
Old 06-20-2010, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by astro View Post
. The gayness is slapping you in the face like a big, meaty gay penis.
Seemingly said with authority.........
#10
Old 06-20-2010, 06:27 PM
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I disagree. I think the fact that the first guy even sold his watch to the other guy means they aren't lovers. And if they are supposed to be, the other guy is indeed a shit for not selling the watch back.
#11
Old 06-20-2010, 06:30 PM
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I'm always kind of skeptical of "gaydar", but having two young men of similar ages go out to buy car insurance together kind of indicates they're a couple irregardless of rainbow shirts or effeminate mannerisms.
#12
Old 06-20-2010, 06:39 PM
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Funny...when I first saw the commercial, before the first guy got one word out of his mouth, I thought "Wow, gutsy of them to market to a gay couple like that".
#13
Old 06-20-2010, 06:39 PM
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They are clearly gay.

Nothing is done in TV commercials by accident. Nothing. The rainbow is obvious enough for the gay community to see it and say "Great, someone is finally talking to us" but to Mr and Mrs middle America, it's just a couple of nice boys.
#14
Old 06-20-2010, 06:44 PM
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Why would one half of a couple sell his watch to the other half? And why would that other half then refuse to sell it back? If this is supposed to be a representation of a couple, it's a massive, overwhelming failure for that fact alone.

Maybe they're meant to be read as gay, but I'm not getting that reading, and they're sure as hell not a couple.
#15
Old 06-20-2010, 06:45 PM
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Gay.

I remember thinking of opening a thread about this the first time I saw the commercial, which was several weeks ago.

The other question... does Flo have the hots for the motorcycle guy?

Last edited by John Mace; 06-20-2010 at 06:46 PM.
#16
Old 06-20-2010, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by spifflog View Post
Nothing is done in TV commercials by accident. Nothing. The rainbow is obvious enough for the gay community to see it and say "Great, someone is finally talking to us" but to Mr and Mrs middle America, it's just a couple of nice boys.
This Middle American sees them as a wimp and a jerk.

If they're in a relationship, it's not gonna last.
#17
Old 06-20-2010, 06:59 PM
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I don't see them as a gay couple. First of all is that a rainbow flag? It kind of looks like one, but it's definately a faded out or toned down version of one.

Second of al if they were a gay couple WHY would one of the guys BUY the watch from the other. The whole point is the one guy was short money and sold his watch to the other guy.

Would a husband do that to a wife or vice versa?

The problem with running a gay ad would be the obvious. Does Progressive have rates for married people. If they offer discounted rates for married people and don't give them for gay couples that would be problematic, if it were so and anyone found out.

It might be a way of putting your foot in the water for a gay ad.
#18
Old 06-20-2010, 07:04 PM
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I think the writers wanted an "out", just in case. No one in the biz would put this together without realizing how gay those guys come across as. Not that there's anything wrong with that!
#19
Old 06-20-2010, 07:09 PM
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I still think it's a case of people reading subtext in an ad that they want to be there.
#20
Old 06-20-2010, 07:14 PM
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Yeah, I assumed they were subtly going for a gay couple or friendship vibe. I don't think the second guy is an asshat -- I figured the "he sold me his watch / also I'm not gonna give it back" stuff was banter, not really serious -- kinda giving each other a hard time (er, so to speak). Maybe the first guy is too proud to accept a loan, so the second guy said "fine, sell me your watch," and so on. Not that I think we're intended to concoct a whole fanwanking backstory for these two schlubs.

Edited to add: and btw, I never noticed the rainbow pattern in the ad.

Last edited by choie; 06-20-2010 at 07:14 PM.
#21
Old 06-20-2010, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by MPB in Salt Lake View Post
Seemingly said with authority.........
Ah... if 'twere only thus! I could have avoided decades of child support.
#22
Old 06-20-2010, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
The other question... does Flo have the hots for the motorcycle guy?
Certainly not

She's got the hots for me. She's just never met me and doesn't realise it yet. I guess I'll have to switch from Geico.
#23
Old 06-20-2010, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Tapioca Dextrin View Post
Certainly not

She's got the hots for me. She's just never met me and doesn't realise it yet. I guess I'll have to switch from Geico.
Flo is 40 years old. You have to be this high to date her.

Last edited by astro; 06-20-2010 at 07:49 PM.
#24
Old 06-20-2010, 08:21 PM
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The advertising agency absolutely has to know that the two men will be seen as wink-wink nudge-nudge gay to a very large portion of the audience. Whether or not they are officially supposed to be gay is not really important. I'm sure the ad agency and Progressive deliberately went for wink-wink nudge-nudge, to the exclusion of both "totally not gay" and "yes, they're officially gay".
#25
Old 06-20-2010, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Inner Stickler View Post
I still think it's a case of people reading subtext in an ad that they want to be there.
Seconded. I was gonna say just about the same thing.
#26
Old 06-20-2010, 08:34 PM
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According to the guys who made the ad, it wasn't intended to be gay, but after people started interpreting it that way, they decided to take advantage of it (running the ad on Logo and so on).

Last edited by Indistinguishable; 06-20-2010 at 08:34 PM.
#27
Old 06-20-2010, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Indistinguishable View Post
According to the guys who made the ad, it wasn't intended to be gay, but after people started interpreting it that way, they decided to take advantage of it (running the ad on Logo and so on).
They say they were going for a Joey/Chandler dynamic. So, gay.
#28
Old 06-20-2010, 08:48 PM
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Haha, that's funny. I didn't think for a second they were gay. I thought they were brothers, or old friends; you know, the kind of relationship that thrives on one-up-manship. Not very sexy; I never even noticed the rainbow. :P But I'm straight female, so what do I know.

Last edited by Taomist; 06-20-2010 at 08:49 PM.
#29
Old 06-20-2010, 09:05 PM
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Well, they both seemed television-gay, but having the blonde guy 'own' the brunette guy's watch? WTF? There's no straight or gay relationship that would make that make sense.

It's like the ad men wanted to have the two men be a couple and then decided to make the blonde a very upfront and mature rent boy. Some ads with straight couples make the women out to be a gold-digger and/or financially dependent on the man, but nothing that blatant!
#30
Old 06-20-2010, 09:20 PM
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I don't have any gaydar (to the best of my knowledge), so take this for what it's worth:

I didn't see them as gay. I saw them as roommates, and the one who bought the watch is probably anticipating seeing what else he can pick up from his buddy if Flo can't help him out.
#31
Old 06-20-2010, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by tumbleddown View Post
Why would one half of a couple sell his watch to the other half? And why would that other half then refuse to sell it back? If this is supposed to be a representation of a couple, it's a massive, overwhelming failure for that fact alone.
No more so than most ads fail at representing real life.


I vote gay.
#32
Old 06-20-2010, 10:08 PM
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Nah, I didn't see those two as gay at all. The watch thing clinches it for me that they're not.

And the rainbow stripe? It only has three colors. Hardly a rainbow.
#33
Old 06-20-2010, 10:17 PM
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Given the number of posters who don't see the obvious gayness of the couple I'm starting to understand how some parents are oblivious to their kids being gay, and women marry men who are gay only to be shocked later.

Do you really not see it in the mannerisms, the look, the lilting conversational softness of the man in glasses, the arch banter? Really? Fascinating.

Last edited by astro; 06-20-2010 at 10:18 PM.
#34
Old 06-20-2010, 10:50 PM
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As a straight male...

They definitely come across as a couple to me. I don't know how finely attuned my "gaydar" is but FWIW they pinged it through their interactions and mannerisms. The watch thing gives me pause but I think I dismissed it as a humorous "hook" for the commercial. A straight couple could still get away with that, IMHO, if it were the woman who bought the watch.

Still, consulting on insurance is something I would do with a SO, not with a male friend.
#35
Old 06-20-2010, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Jihi View Post
As a straight male...

They definitely come across as a couple to me. I don't know how finely attuned my "gaydar" is but FWIW they pinged it through their interactions and mannerisms. The watch thing gives me pause but I think I dismissed it as a humorous "hook" for the commercial. A straight couple could still get away with that, IMHO, if it were the woman who bought the watch.

Still, consulting on insurance is something I would do with a SO, not with a male friend.
This point is actually the capper. This is something couples do, not buddies. This is not something heterosexual males tag along with each other to do unless one guy needs technical advice from his buddy, and that's not the case here.

Last edited by astro; 06-20-2010 at 11:14 PM.
#36
Old 06-21-2010, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Markxxx
The problem with running a gay ad would be the obvious. Does Progressive have rates for married people. If they offer discounted rates for married people and don't give them for gay couples that would be problematic, if it were so and anyone found out.
My husband and I are insured by Progressive.

According to my sister-in-law, who is an insurance agent, most insurance companies treat same-sex couples as two separate people and surcharge them accordingly. It's no secret and no problem, unless you're one of those people in a same-sex relationship that's being overcharged.

Progressive is well, progressive in that within the confines of each state's laws, they recognize same-sex marriages and registered domestic partnerships as married couples. In my experience, you do need to call them to get yourself set up- their website still doesn't understand SSM couples.

She tells me that from an underwriting standpoint, gays are a better risk. From a purely statistical view, we take better care of our stuff and don't get into as many accidents.

It's only been fairly recently that whether a person is gay or straight has been known to underwriters with any reliability, and most likely, that data has come from companies like Progressive who actively market to and support gay people, so they're able to capture that information when other companies ignore it.
#37
Old 06-21-2010, 08:41 AM
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Gay. "Gayer than a tree of monkeys on nitrous oxide" gay.
#38
Old 06-21-2010, 09:17 AM
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There is no doubt in my mind that they are intended to be a couple.

But, I theorize they included the watch bit for plausible deniability in case any stick-up-the-ass types got offended at gay people in a commercial.
#39
Old 06-21-2010, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Wheelz View Post
There is no doubt in my mind that they are intended to be a couple.
There's no doubt in my mind they're supposed to be gay (the mannerisms of Rainbow T-Shirt alone should be a tip-off). But I never thought they were a couple, the watch thing makes no sense if they're a couple.

Actually, the watch thing doesn't make much sense period.
#40
Old 06-21-2010, 10:09 AM
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This gay man has never seen them as gay. Friends, yes. But not gay. The watch thing at the end...so straight. "Now I can buy my watch back!" "This watch? Not for sale." SOOOO straight-friends-one-upmanship. Definitely not gay.
#41
Old 06-21-2010, 10:28 AM
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Flo is 40 years old. You
I'd have never guessed. Nature has been kind to her. She is stunning (and much more so outside of the not-unpleasant but schticky Flo get-up).
#42
Old 06-21-2010, 10:32 AM
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The other question... does Flo have the hots for the motorcycle guy?
She might. But she can't have him. 'Cause he's gonna be with me...
#43
Old 06-21-2010, 10:49 AM
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When I saw this commercial I was like "Looks like the kids from Christine were able to put all that unpleasantness behind them."

Then I remembered that Artie was killed, so... gay. Definitely gay.
#44
Old 06-21-2010, 11:03 AM
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Maybe everyone's "gaydar" is going off because they're both gay, but they're not a couple. Just two gay guys who are friends.
#45
Old 06-21-2010, 11:35 AM
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I don't see it as gay or at least I don't see them as a couple. It comes across to me as two friends, one of whom seems to be a bit of a jerk.
#46
Old 06-21-2010, 12:50 PM
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I saw this spot in passing and didn't really even pick up on what the back-and-forth with the watch was all about. I've not seen it since that initial viewing.

Still, my immediate thought was that this was two gay guys, and that this was a pretty adventurous thing for Progressive to do. Seeing the spot as quickly as I did and not giving it my full attention, I didn't render a judgment as to whether they were a couple or not.
#47
Old 06-21-2010, 02:52 PM
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The Gay Commercial Investigator is on it!
#48
Old 06-21-2010, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by brickbacon View Post
Heheh! That guy's pretty funny...

I'm finding myself agreeing with the assessment that the two are gay, but not a couple. The plausible denial by the Progressive rep in the other article makes me wonder if they're just fronting with, well, plausible deniability. There's no way in hell that rainbow T gets through wardrobe unless it's intentional. Maybe some gay ad designers sold the idea to some straight execs as a Joey/Chandler dynamic and the clueless straight execs believed it...? Nah, it had to be very deliberately planned.
#49
Old 06-21-2010, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by tumbleddown View Post
Why would one half of a couple sell his watch to the other half? And why would that other half then refuse to sell it back? If this is supposed to be a representation of a couple, it's a massive, overwhelming failure for that fact alone.

Maybe they're meant to be read as gay, but I'm not getting that reading, and they're sure as hell not a couple.
They could be dating but not cohabiting.

I had a girlfriend once whom I bought some stuff from because she was needed the money but didn't want a loan or gift.
#50
Old 06-21-2010, 04:04 PM
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Are those Sonic guys gay? I never thought about it but now I wonder if I'm missing the signs.
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