By Dana Burd
One of “Ray Ban’s” newest ads features two men holding hands as they make their way down a busy sidewalk in a 1940’s setting. The couple appear to be unfazed by disapproving sneers and sideways glances of other characters in the ad.
According to the Ray Ban facebook page, the ad is an homage to the story of legendary beat writer Taylor Mead. “Taylor Mead tells us of living true to self in 1940’s America. ‘Yes, I was gay. I had no reason to be proud of it, but no reason to act as if I was not. Reading Shaw, Kerouac and Ginsberg helped me find who I really was – a writer.'”
Ray Ban has included the couple as a part of the Never Hide campaign, celebrating daring and action, and a challenge to be genuine. It is new move for Ray Ban, who has never included overt LGBT figures in their advertising.
Produced by Marcel, a Paris-based advertising agency, the “Never Hide” campaign was initially launched in 2007 in conjunction with the company’s 75th anniversary, and features “people from various eras who have flouted conventions in plain sight.”
“Nobody wants fake or temporary. Real trendsetters, real opinion leaders, real individuals believe the most fashionable thing you can be is yourself; to be authentic, real, bold and stylish … Never pretend. Never be afraid. Never give up. Never Hide,” reads a 2007 “Never Hide” press release.
The campaign utilizes a range of mixed media including situation based print ads, video, outdoor advertising as well as interactive elements on its website which allows fans to view and post personal stories and images to its “Wall of Legends” section.
For a look at some more advertisements geared at the LGBT community check out GLAAD’s Advertising Media Program here.