GLAAD’s Visibility Project, a new campaign launched in May 2021 with P&G to grow LGBTQ inclusion in advertising, tracked ads that aired during Super Bowl LVIII. Among them, only 10 ads from e.lf., Hellmann’s, Homes.com, Mountain Dew, NYX, Paramount+, Starry, and Volkswagen explicitly featured LGBTQ people, of which only one, from Volkswagen included explicitly LGBTQ storytelling.
GLAAD tracked an increase of representation from 2023 to 2024 (4 ads to 10 ads), along with visibility for bisexual women and queer women. GLAAD commends Volkswagen for featuring featuring an LGBTQ couple and support for gay marriage and e.l.f. featuring a drag queen, countering a year of anti-drag and anti-LGBTQ legislation and narratives led by a minority of extremists. The majority of tracked ads, however, featured white LGBTQ representation and included zero visibility for transgender and nonbinary people.
Still, per GLAAD’s inaugural Advertising Visibility Index, brands are missing opportunities to capture consumers by relying on LGBTQ celebrities as spokespeople without additional storytelling.
See below for the LGBTQ-inclusive ads that aired during Super Bowl LVIII:
e.l.f, In e.l.f we Trust, featuring Benito Skinner and Heidi N’ Closet
Hellmann’s, Mayo Cat, featuring Kate McKinnon
Mountain Dew: Aubrey Plaza Having a Blast, featuring Aubrey Plaza
NYX, That’s Suspicious, featuring Cardi B
Paramount+, Sir Patrick Stewart Throws a Hail Arnold, featuring Drew Barrymore
Volkswagen, An American Love Story, featuring a lesbian wedding
In response to this year’s crop of ads, GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis stated: “While the NFL proudly states football is for everyone, advertisers this year did not reflect that reality during commercial break. Brands like Volkswagen that move beyond merely featuring an LGBTQ celebrity, and brands featuring intersectional representation of LGBTQ people as well as other diverse communities will win out in the long run. Over one in five members of Gen Z are LGBTQ and more than half are self-described allies. Super Bowl advertisers are missing out on a major opportunity to attract the next generation of employees and consumers.”