Guest Blogger

Frito-Lay Distances Itself from Gay-Themed Ads

Filed By Guest Blogger | January 25, 2011 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: Aaron McQuade, Doritos, FritoLay, gay advertising, GLAAD, Superbowl ad

Editors' Note: Guest blogger Aaron McQuade is GLAAD's Associate Director of National News. Before joining GLAAD, he was the morning anchor for OutQ News on Sirius XM Radio.

The company behind Doritos says it is not promoting a pair of consumer-created gay-themed ads, and is looking into whether it can have removed from an unofficial YouTube page.

The internet has been buzzing for the last day or so with two 30-second videos that appear to be ads for Doritos snack chips. Both ads feature gay themes, and hinge on the idea that Doritos are so delicious, they might make an otherwise straight man engage in activities that make him seem gay to others, with the intent of creating humorous results.

There has been tremendous confusion however, about what these ads actually are. Some say they could run during the Super Bowl – others say the ads were created by fans of Doritos, and will never air anywhere. So we reached out to Frito-Lay to find out what the truth is.

According to Frito-Lay Director of Public Relations Chris Kuechenmeister, the latter is true. He said the pair of ads in question were two out of 5,600 that were submitted to the company for its “Crash the Super Bowl” contest. Furthermore, the YouTube page on which the ads appear is a fan-made page, and not the official page for the Crash the Super Bowl contest. Kuechenmeister said the ads in question were not among the finalists chosen by a panel of judges, and have no chance of airing during the Super Bowl or otherwise.

He said that the contest’s judges sought to “identify spots that were appropriate for everyone” and “observe a level of respect for everybody.” Even though the spots do not appear on the contest’s official YouTube page and the company has no direct ability to remove them, Kuechenmeister said he would be raising the issue with the company’s legal team.


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BAWAHAHAHAHA... I'm straight, but I thought they were both hilarious. I'd vote on the first one, it's family friendly. The second, not so much but still funny.

I actually don't mind the ads from an LGBT perspective, but what does it say about us that a corporation gives the country an art project, uses submissions for profit, and doesn't pay people for their creative work?

Tough call. I'm inclined to disapprove just because I'm not a fan of the the project in the first place, but for many people it could seem worth it just to get an example of their work recognized on such a large scale.

I agree. I thought the ads were cute and could have been a bold move for Doritos. I love the conversations they've stirred up.

Is Bilerico being compensated for advertising Frito-Lay's product here and elsewhere, the past week? It amazes me how people's hope for an improved economy and human rights is dependent on how well companies like Frito-Lay do and how their token gestures are perceived. Frito-Lay is a purveyor of something that is not only non essential but essentially bad for people.

I suppose a Doritos ad with a gay male theme which might be aired during the Super Bowl is GLAAD's idea of progress. What do I know? I'm only a woman of transsexual history. Do I even exist?

Ummm, did you even read the post before commenting? How in the world did you get that this was GLAAD's idea of progress? They reached out to Frito-Lay because they considered them offensive!

Well, I could be missing something. I didn't read anywhere where GLAAD thought they were offensive. I went back to the Bilerico post that was linked to in this post. I read the remark about the reaction to the ad John Avarosis had, 'while John Aravosis isn't sure about the "flaming stereotype depicted in the ad." ' The portrayal linked to in that post seemed to be met with mixed reviews in the comment section to that post. I've been following this, sort of for the past few days.

Yes, I guess I did read more into how GLAAD saw gay men being portrayed in this instance as progress. It seems as though the lives of lgb getting exposure in media is generally regarded as a good thing but, no, that isn't exactly the case here. It does seem there might have been some initial excitement over the fact that Frito-Lay might have been attempting to promote a positive image of gay men during the most widely viewed commercial advertisements of the year in the U S, even if there were questions about the portrayal. Yes GLAAD looked into it. No, apparently Frito-Lay won't be airing the commercials at the Super Bowl, just on LGBT websites.