First, the video:
So when I saw this story about Tylenol, I said, “Well, this isn’t about separating people from their money. This is an entirely different objective here.” It’s a CNN story, and it is about a 30-second commercial from Johnson & Johnson, manufacturers of Tylenol, and it opens with the question: “When were you first considered a family?” And then it depicts traditional heterosexual couples and families. And then the ad asks the question: “When did you first fight to be considered a family?” And this is followed by images of a lesbian couple at what appears to be a prom, a mixed-race wedding followed by a mixed-race couple with a kid and then a couple with adopted kids of different races.
And the ad ends with an image of two gay men doting over a baby as the voiceover says, “Family is not defined by who you love, but how you love.” And here we have a headache pill — (interruption) Snerdley are you erupting over a caller in there again? (interruption) Oh, you’re reacting to the story? He is really fuming and spitting in there. (interruption) That’s the point. This isn’t advertising anymore. Because gay couple, gays are 2% of the population, yet here’s Johnson & Johnson advertising Tylenol in a gay friendly way. This can’t be about strictly moving the product. This has got to be something else going on here.
Now, everywhere you look — and this has been the case for probably five years and maybe longer — practically every night on prime time TV you can find at least one show, and if you go to the movies you can find a lot of those, that depict gay people uniformly as happy and normal and healthy, be allowed to adopt children. They’re smarter, they’re more sensitive, they’re hipper. It’s a major campaign that’s been undertaken here, and what this means is that politically active people who have this as one of their issues are now working in the media buying and creative departments of advertising agencies.
So that advertising normally designed to make you want to buy the product is now designed to make you feel good about the product, make you feel the product is… (interruption) Well, here’s the thing… (interruption) Well, the question is being asked of me, why just this social issue? Why is it just about gay relationships? Why don’t they tackle other social issues? Give ’em time. But right now the gay population that populates media and entertainment, I mean, they have the power to devise these campaigns, the creative, the production and all that.
Here’s my point. What appears as standard fare in the prime time entertainment program has now made the jump and is starting to pop up in advertising. Again, less than 2% of the population is gay. So this is not about attracting buyers, which to me is a really interesting thing about advertising. This is not about that. This is political activism. And they’re free to do it. I mean, it’s a free country, and it’s Tylenol, Johnson & Johnson, and if they want to take their brand, if they want to use Tylenol to push a particular political agenda, social agenda, have at it. Just a heads up that that’s what’s happening here.
Notice that before we get to the gays, we see interracial and mixed race families. Don’t think that was an accident, either.
As for the point of this ad? Well, we all know that selling Tylenol isn’t the goal here, the point is that LGBTQetc dominate the media and PR, and increasingly, ad agencies. They’re showing off their cultural power.
But, there could be an angle here to hawk Tylenol — Watching this ad gives me a headache.