NatWest’s lesbian couple ad

Not that long ago I questioned whether we’ve ever seen openly gay couple feature in an advert. Oh, sure, there’s campery and queening but I cannot recall a single instance of a clearly homosexual couple being the stars of an advert. Everyday people who just happen to be same-sex couples. Until this Natwest advert.

“I love my girlfriend Kate,” says a lady who also loathes swimming, is superstitious and prefers espressos. She is seen lovey-doveying with Kate so I don’t think there’s much doubt as to whether we’re talking about a girlfriend or a girl-friend here.

This shouldn’t really be a big deal. Especially given Anna Friel and the other one from Brookside fisted one another live on the Channel 4 soap in 1983, that bloke in Eastenders and when TV went all queer in the 90s. While dramatic hyperbole is a bit of a stock-in-trade here it’s hardly unusual to see people on television or film – or hear them on the radio – playing parts where they just happen to be gay: so why has it taken advertising so long to catch up?

This is a very interesting question and it’s also worth pondering why few ethnic minorities are featured as the main focus of adverts. A BT or Oxo family, one of the price-comparison mascots? Advertisers could just about get away with a kind of don’t-ask-don’t-tell defence – how do you if they’re gay or not? – but we all know that homosexuality has been woefully under-represented in advertising. Why? I’ll tell you.

I have no doubt that the people producing adverts are fairly broad-minded – they’re very busy shoving ginger up each others’ rectums, having threesomes at business breakfasts and snorting coke off malnourished children for a start – but advertisers fear that the people who buy the products or services they’re shilling, quite simply, are homophobes.

Perhaps not the spitting, seething fire-and-brimstone lunatics that inhabit Daily Mail letters pages, but people gently – even subconsciously – a little bit uncomfortable with the gays. On a not-unrelated note if you are, for example, M+S then your target market is largely well-to-do Surrey commuter-belt female WASPs with a yen for cashmere. Why bother – apart from some box-ticking PR – to go for broke with a non-native burka-clad Pakistani lady fronting your new Autumn season campaign? In that respect it’s terrible targeting, in the case of homosexuality you might actually risk driving away customers.

This kind of demographic profiling and risk aversion is the bedrock of industries such as insurance and finance, so it’s logical that advertising follows the same rules. And this is why advertising has, comparably, remained in the dark ages for so long. It’s a game of percentages and value for money. So UK advertising remains astonishingly homogenous (and conservative since the bemusing rules dictate that in the middle of watching Sharon Stone flashing her pussy in Basic Instinct on Channel 5 you’re not allowed to watch an advert where anyone uses a word any stronger that ‘bum’) and tries not to frighten anyone, all the while waving hands at inclusivity and ticking those demographic boxes.

So, well done to Natwest I guess. I’m glad this hasn’t been trumpeted or promoted because it really shouldn’t be a big deal. But I genuinely can’t remember another advert that has matter-of-factly referenced a gay couple. There are two thing worth pointing out here though. The first is that this lady banker and her girlfriend appear in a kind of Sliding Doors-style parallel universe which, somehow, vaguely negates it a little for me. It’s a little have-cake-eat-cake. The second is that, if you want to watch the ad on Natwest’s Youtube channel, you get served an Adsense contextual pop-up advert.

The fact that a banking outfit as vast as Natwest tries to make a few pitiful pennies through online advertising is rather amusing but it should serve as a valuable reminder that – gay, bi or straight – banks just want your money. At the end of the day, regardless of which set of sexual organs we prefer, we’re just numbers to the people who run them.

June keywords: The man who invented Cadburys Wispas has cried

Listen, you fuckers, you screwheads. Here is a man who would not take it anymore. A man who stood up against the scum, the cunts, the dogs, the filth, the shit. Here is a man who stood up.

I used to think this about advertisers – now I think it about my readers. Because if keyword queries are anything to go by I am indeed Travis Bickle, gazing out into the world at large and disgusted by what he sees. Sex. Shit. Sex and shit. Sex and shit adverts. Cheryl Baker’s breasts.

Have I created a monster? Well, perhaps, but at least blogging gives them a lightning rod with which to work out their frustrations.

This month’s keywords were saved, for me, by some amusing ones, mostly beginning with ‘why?’. Why is Paul Merton so smug? Why is Gary Rhodes so weird? Why is Peter Kay rubbish? And – most importantly – why does the laughing cow drink her own milk? Valuable questions we need answers to.

My favourite one was the one in the title. Was it supposed to be ‘died’ instead of ‘cried’? Has the man who invented the Wispa died? Or cried? Would either instance have been reported anywhere? It seems unlikely, but my interest’s piqued.

Is there a man who works for Cadbury’s whose job it is to devise new chocolate bars? Is the Wispa just a rip-off of the Aero? What would make such a chocolate inventor weep?

We’re at the very limits of what even search engines can tell us here. As with the amount of queries that seem to start with a desperate ‘why?’. We can never know, nor understand why. But, for the record, Shaun Williamson has had a hair transplant; Cheryl Baker hasn’t been depressed and Shane Richie denies that he’s wearing a wig.

June AdTurds keywords

jacamo is for fat bastards – 26 instances
natwest helpful banking fuck off – 11 instances
giant rotating negroid head – 6 instances
confused microphone minge
women stalking the camera en masse — post-feminist zombies lusting after a scarf – this is one of mine
“barclays adverts”cunt
“cock comparison”
“i like old movies” advert shit
“you wouldn’t steal a” “fuck you, i would if i could”
advert with bad neck
advert with balloons all over the place
adverts for cancer
adverts on itv about cars and cats
andrew castle shit
anyone else hate the confused adverts
are the two women on the halifax advert lesbians and fancy each other? – certainly, to my mind
arsehole from hair advert
asda advert long haired guy talking about quiche
asian girl halifax advert yeah
bad features of the cadbury eyebrow
barry eastenders hair sean williamson transplant
bouncing pendulous boobs
bouncing tits cunts
boycott gocompare and cos of their adverts
can you buy creme eggs in december in england?
can you say shit in ads
carey mulligan pussy
cheryl baker boobs
cheryl baker getting fucked
cheryl baker milf
cheryl baker tits ymca what the fuck cunts
cream egg pussy filler
davina mccall squeezing ass
dildo on the woman and then facking a women driver car insurance
do you see breasts in barclaycard rollercoaster advert – I feel sure it was someone’s responsibility to airbrush out any offending nipples in this ad
fucked under the table secretly wife is there
garnier ultralift advert behind the scenes
go compare adverts compare these two fingers fatty
god only knows ruined by volkswagen
god only knows ruined by vw vans advert
has cheryl baker been depressed?
has shane ritchie got a wig?
has the voice of the panda of fox biscuit adverts changed
here comes the girls adverts horrible patronising
how is gender constructed in the cadbury milk tray advertisement
hsbc advert what the fuck is he cooking
i’ve been fucked by bray leino
ian wright carpetright advert – why would anyone want to see such a thing?
is brian big brother and cadbury monkey ad racist
is it true that the guy in the barlays was seen on a railway station and picked for the advert?
is that paul whitehouse real face
jacamo is for obese people
jack davenport big penis
jenny craig causing weird poop
lesbian halifax advert
mumford oirish
ocean finance tv why does it exist
peter jones appears in advertisements suck dick
pillsbury dougboy jizzes all over
safe use smoked sausage dildo
sean pertwee i want you
semen everywhere
sex and the erosion of shit
sex keywords used on twitter
the biggest pile of a girl 1 kg turds
the man who invented cadburys wispas has cried
twat in a ford ka
up your bingo fat bitches
website compares tits people vote on them – an opening for
what do you think of the jammy doger? i think it’s a very arrogant biscuit – I’d love to hear the reasoning on this
whose is that bouncing tits in all the adverts
why is gary rhodes so weird?
why is paul merton such a smug knob?
why is peter kay so shit these days?
why would the laughing cow eat her own milk?
wonga idiots
wow, pretty girl is shitting? surely pretty turd
yahoo caramel girls fucked roughly
halifax ad punch myself in the face
i hate that fucking creepy birdseye bear

Recurring keywords

Annoying – 121 – Spotify a runaway here; Barclays, Direct Line Line and 118 118 running up
Shit – 154 – All the usual suspects
Fuck – 71 – Natwest and Halifax
Hate – 40 – Louise Rednknapp, Betty Crocker,, GoCompare, Halifax, Barclays getting it here
Cunt – 25 – Jacamo ran away with this one