This post will be updated as additional LGBTQ-inclusive ads are announced.
A rainbow wave will be rolling through Super Bowl LIV as LGBTQ icons step out on the field and during commercial breaks. At least eleven LGBTQ-inclusive ads — a record high — will air during the game including one from Microsoft which features Katie Sowers, the trailblazing gay Offensive Assistant Coach of the 49ers. Sowers is set to take the field during the game and will also tell her powerful story in one of the highly anticipated LGBTQ-inclusve ads:
As part of our work, GLAAD advocates for brands and companies to include LGBTQ people and families across advertising media. LGBTQ people have often been invisible during the Super Bowl – advertising’s biggest night – or relegated to ads featuring homophobic tropes and stereotypes.
“The level of diverse LGBTQ inclusion from more than ten brands during advertising’s biggest night, coupled with Katie Sowers’ trailblazing role on the field as Offensive Assistant Coach of the 49ers, mark a rainbow wave at the Super Bowl this year,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “GLAAD has long been advocating for brands to feature LGBTQ people in ads and we cannot wait for American families to see and cheer on so many diverse LGBTQ icons – it’s about time.”
This year, at least ten brands are joining Microsoft in changing that.
Budweiser will feature Ali Krieger & Ashlyn Harris, World Cup champions and members of the U.S. women’s national soccer team who recently married each other. Check out their appearance after the full championship team appears near the end of the ad. Budweiser also released a sweet teaser commercial featuring the couple:
Pop Tarts will feature Jonathan Van Ness, non-binary star of Netflix’s Queer Eye:
Sabra hummus will feature drag performers Kim Chi and Miz Cracker, alumni of the Emmy and GLAAD Media Award-winning series RuPaul’s Drag Race. Sabra released a teaser video earlier this week:
TurboTax will bring trans actresses Isis King (When They See Us) and Trace Lysette (Transparent, Hustlers), along with members of the ballroom community, together to tell the world that “all people are tax people:”
Doritos will air a dance battle between out singer Lil Nas X and actor Sam Elliott:
Olay chose bisexual TV host Lilly Singh to portray an astronaut alongside Busy Phillips and retired astronaut Nicole Stott as part of the Procter & Gamble brand’s #MakeSpaceForWomen campaign. Lilly will also host the GLAAD Media Awards next month in New York City.
Ellen DeGeneres was previously featured in a Super Bowl ad and returns this year alongside her wife Portia de Rossi in an ad for Amazon Alexa:
Tide will feature Schitt’s Creek star Emily Hampshire, who spoke with The Advcoate about being pansexual earlier this week:
Under Armour includes Kelley O’Hara, a member of the U.S. women’s national soccer team, who famously kissed her girlfriend: after winning the World Cup
HGTV also aired a promo for the reboot of ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,’ featuring out host Jesse Tyler Ferguson.
GLAAD Media Award-winner Demi Lovato, who recently opened up about telling her parents that she is sexually fluid, will open the game with the National Anthem.
GLAAD also launched a petition calling on the American Family Association’s ‘One Million Moms’ (OMM) project, and its executive director, Monica Cole, to call it quits after the AFA project spoke out against one of this year’s LGBTQ-inclusive ads. The Southern Poverty Law Center lists the American Family Association as a designated hate group for its anti-LGBTQ activism. The AFA’s OMM project counts under 5,000 followers on Twitter and has a long list of failed online actions against LGBTQ-inclusive brands. The AFA’s OMM project most recently spoke out against a Burger King ad that included the word ‘damn.’
The so-called “One Million Moms” are at it again – this time speaking out against a Super Bowl ad that includes drag queens. It’s clear that the hate group’s tactics aren’t working, and it’s time for them to pack it up and go home.https://t.co/QujvegmvrK
— GLAAD (@glaad) January 30, 2020
“Leading brands have learned that fringe anti-LGBTQ organizations like Monica Cole and her American Family Association ‘One Million Moms’ project, are not a reflection of where Americans are. Family-friendly today means including all families, including LGBTQ families,” continued GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.
Super Bowl LIV marks the largest number of LGBTQ-inclusive ads during the big game. Last year, Burger King featured footage of out artist Andy Warhol and Amazon Alexa included Broad City star Abbi Jacobson, who previously spoke in the media about dating men and women, but did not label her sexual orientation.
In 2007, Snickers pulled an ad after it aired during the Super Bowl and depicted two men who accidentally kiss, and then become disgusted. An alternative version of the ad had the men begin to beat each other. Several ads over the years have sparked debate for treatment of outdated stereotypes and tropes.
In 2014, Coca-Cola was celebrated for an ad featuring a diverse collection of American families, including a family with two dads. In 2018, Coca-Cola used gender neutral pronouns in a spot. Esteemed journalist and author Samantha Allen noted at the time: “Given the severe underrepresentation—indeed, the near invisibility of non-binary people in the media, the importance of 100 million people hearing “them” used as a gender-neutral, third-person pronoun cannot be overstated.”
LGBTQ celebrities including RuPaul, Ellen DeGeneres and Neil Patrick Harris have also appeared in Super Bowl ads over the years. RuPaul appeared in a 2000 ad for WebEx video conferencing software, DeGeneres appeared in a Beats Music ad in 2014 and Harris appeared in a Heineken Light ad in 2017, as well as a CBS teaser ad for the Super Bowl in 2013. In 2005, Carson Kressley co-starred with Cindy Crawford in a now iconic Diet Pepsi ad.
Super Bowl LIV airs this Sunday, February 2 on FOX. Jennifer Lopez, who received GLAAD’s Vanguard Award for her allyship, will perform during half-time with Shakira.