Progressive. Queer. Feminist. Opinionated.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Gay Orbitz

I just saw this amazing commercial for gay travel with the Orbitz company. The commercial follows their recent theme: two people compete to find hotels and travel faster. I found a copy of this commercial on the wonderful and useful Commercial Closet. Here's their summary:

On a game show, a colorful door turns, revealing a man in a lavender shirt. The announcer says, "HE'S a travel editor from Miami!" The man femininely grabs his chest in mock surprise.

As door number two swings around, revealing a tall, handsome fellow with another clinging to his shoulder, the announcer says, "HE'S got a new boyfriend!"

"And this is Take On Orbitz," he continues, "the game that pits other travel services against"

The host, game show favorite Wink Martindale (from "Tic-Tac-Dough"), walks on stage. "Today's contestants need a hotel in San Francisco with a mini-bar and gym," he says as the display behinds him lists the amenities in typical game-show fashion. The unseen audience gasps at the challenge.

The couple and travel editor face off, each with a computer trying to make their vacation plans the fastest through online booking. The new boyfriend is still hanging off his beau, playfully distracting him from typing by toying with his ear and rubbing his shoulders. (The set-up is that a travel editor should be a wiz at booking, while the distracted couple should not be, but they use The couple wins, despite the "handicap" of new love.

The couple high-fives and hugs, while the travel editor is peeved at being shown up.

"Orbitz makes it fast and easy to find the right gay-friendly hotel," explains the host. The new boyfriend runs over to Martindale and hugs him, to which Martindale remarks: "I like that!"

The ad ends with the URL, link

I can barely express the excitement I felt upon watching this simple commercial. It was on an ordinary channel at an ordinary time, and I was overjoyed to see two men holding hands and embracing like any other couple. They word "gay" was unabashedly used!

I'll admit the tone is campy, but I don't think that detracts from the overall implications. This is a gay commercial on a mainstream channel. Wow! I'm sending off an email to praise Orbitz. It's a small gesture, but the I feel they deserve whatever support I can give.

Please visit this link to see the commercial.


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