Does this Mr Sub commercial offend you?
If you can’t watch the video, here’s a synopsis: a large
family is sitting at a dining room table, and the father says he has
announcement to make: he’s gay. One of the children asks, “You mean,
like gay, gay?” to which the father responds, “Like super, super gay."
Then a voice-over: “Not everyone likes surprises – so count on Mr Sub,
a Canadian classic for over 40 years."
Marketing Mag reports today that Mr Sub has fired the ad agency, BOS, that
created the 30-second spot. The decision comes after a few disgruntled
tweets, an outraged Facebook group and a letter-writing campaign by some members of the Canadian
Auto Workers union.
"We must let Mr Sub know that making fun of our LGBT sisters and
brothers and the very difficult and often painful coming out process is
no way to sell submarine sandwiches,” says CAW communications director Shannon Divine, according to Marketing Mag.
But cooler heads on Twitter and gay activist listservs questioned the outrage: is the ad actually homophobic? Or is it a step forward for gay visibility? Some encouraged others to email Mr Sub to express their support for the ad campaign.
"We did not mean to belittle the ‘coming out’ experience,” wrote BOS in an email to Marketing Mag. “Nor did we
mean to imply that it was a bad thing. In fact, we were very careful to
downplay the reactions of the family members so the father’s
announcement would not be perceived as being catastrophic. It is most
unfortunate that others have interpreted this commercial otherwise.”
What do you think? Do we all need to lighten up a bit?