Eyewear style icon Ray-Ban is being praised throughout the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) blogosphere for a new advertisement that's both gay-inclusive and trendy to boot.
Released as part of their "Never Hide" campaign in connection with the company's 75th anniversary, the new ad features two sharply-dressed gay men out for a romantic stroll on a busy sidewalk.
View the full ad below, then scroll down to keep reading:
Paris-based agency Marcel reportedly produced the ads as a salute to "people from various eras who have flouted conventions in plain sight." Other shots depict women running through a rainy street in their lingerie, and a jitterbugging couple going in for a racy dip in the middle of a crowded dance floor.
"In its every form, the Ray-Ban campaign portrays regular guys and girls living their day to day lives with authenticity, with the courage to express themselves and their unique individuality, which is the most precious thing we have, because the most fashionable thing to be is yourself," a 2007 press release for the "Never Hide" campaign reads.
Take a look at LGBT-themed advertisements, many of which were originally banned, below:
In 2008, Heinz pulled an ad for its mayonnaise featuring two men kissing after approximately 200 complaints to the British Advertising Standards Authority that it was "offensive" and "inappropriate." "It is our policy to listen to consumers. We recognise that some consumers raised concerns over the content of the ad and this prompted our decision to withdraw it," Nigel Dickie, director of corporate affairs for Heinz UK, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/06/24/heinz-pulls-mayo-ad-showi_n_108860.html" target="_hplink">told<em> The Guardian</em></a>.
This clip -- which features a young man eating in McDonald's with his father, who doesn't know his son is gay -- raised more than a few eyebrows when it was released last year. "The point was not to show someone who is troubled, especially a teenager," the brand director of McDonald's France <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/01/gay-mcdonalds-ad-in-franc_n_596361.html" target="_hplink">was quoted as saying</a> at the time of the clip's release. "We know it can be difficult for some people, but we wouldn't have dared show someone who is struggling".
The classically sexy Renault adverts, which birthed Thierry Henry's famous "va va voom" as well as a saucy striptease from Dita Von Teese have pioneered a new breed of commercial to advertise their latest car, the Renault Twingo. A girl dressed in white and her father sit in the car, on the way to the church. Happy smiles greet the couple as they enter the building, and walk down the aisle. However this advertisement, like most Renault commercials, aims to challenge the viewer's perception.
The first of two scrapped Doritos ads, which <a href="http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/01/25/Gay_Doritos_Ads_Wont_Air_During_Superbowl/" target="_hplink">had been submitted</a> to the company for its "Crash the Super Bowl" contest, shows a man gazing longingly across a fence at his two gay neighbors, who happen to be eating -- surprise! -- Doritos.
Similarly, a second gay-themed Doritos commercial <a href="http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/01/25/Gay_Doritos_Ads_Wont_Air_During_Superbowl/" target="_hplink">was submitted</a> as part of the Super Bowl contest but never officially saw the light of day. This time, a man eyes another man's nether regions in a sauna before a bowl of Dortitos is revealed to be placed on his crotch.
Things aren't always what they seem in this cheeky 2006 Toyota's commercial, in which a father incorrectly identifies the gender of his daughter's date.
This 2007 ad for Levi's Jeans featured alternate endings with male and female love interests appearing in the telephone booth at its conclusion.
An unlikely male couple finds love -- temporarily -- in this humorous Virgin Atlantic spot.
Aimed at promoting the Renault Twingo, this steamy European commercial features two comely women, one blonde and one brunette, exchanging flirtatious glances at a cocktail party before trailing off to a bedroom and stripping down to lingerie. Not everyone was smitten with the controversial ad, however, and it <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/17/renault-lesbian-car-ad-ba_n_798226.html" target="_hplink">was yanked</a> from Italian airwaves in late 2010.
Starring Justin Long (best known as Drew Barrymore's ex), this humorous clip -- filmed in opposition of California's Prop 8 -- takes a look at the potential flip side of same-sex marriage.
Yanked from airwaves, this steamy Jawbone Bluetooth ad featured members of a real-life rugby team. The lovers, however, were actors.
This ad -- for iPhone's gay-dating app West Fourth -- has the benefit of featuring Manhattan locations (Hudson River Park, Christopher Street Pier) instantly recognizable to the New York gay community.
Orangina's "gay" cat ad <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/24/orangina-gay-cat-ad-in-fr_n_624370.html" target="_hplink">was yanked</a> from French airwaves in 2010 -- but is the ad actually promoting a same-sex relationship or one based on zoophilia?
Jeans once again get the gay advertising treatment in this clip, set in a prison shower room.
A controversial Spanish ad starring a British soccer player was yanked earlier this year amidst accusations it was both homophobic and racist. <a href="http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/03/01/video-footballers-spanish-ad-showed-black-men-as-animalistic-homosexuals/" target="_hplink">As Pink News is reporting</a>, the commercials for multinational insurance firm Groupama Seguros feature Liverpool goalkeeper José Manuel Reina (known as Pepe Reina), dressed in full football gear, arriving at an African tribal meeting in a jungle with an interpreter. Playing on the fact that the Madrid-born Reina's surname means "queen" in Spanish, the tribe's chief reportedly tells the athlete, "You queen, me king," before crowning him with flowers.
In a hilarious ad for Australian-based Miroslav, a hotel worker gets cozy with a guest to appreciate the quality of his underwear "up close."