Friends – They’re Your Reset Button


In 2001, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide captured a unique attribute of the gay community. Friends are our families so often our own families reject us or don’t understand the unique path we are on. On behalf of client Miller Lite, the agency launched a print campaign highlighting how friends are our reset button.

This concept has stuck with me for the last decade. Today I find myself at a college reunion in Phoenix and reminded of this. Somewhere between tubing with beer and happy hour with friends, I am reminded the healing power of laughter and familiarity.

I am with my four favorite people: Twizzlers, Matriarch, Asian Beauty, and Primo. They are the people I can let my guard down – revisit the kid who walked into the freshman dorms and the man I am today. Maybe soon I will start including photos of my friends on this blog, but for now I will continue with nicknames and illustrating through words rather than photos.

Below is more about the ad courtesy of GLAAD.

More About They’re Your Reset Button

This ad is so mainstream looking it could almost appear anywhere, yet a close look reveals that it is only guys having a good time and casually touching one another. The subtle tagline says, “Come out and play.”

Miller has a very long history of gay marketing, starting in San Francisco in the mid-1970s with sponsorship of the leather-oriented Folsom Street Fair and later Pride Parades.

Early ads began in 1979 in New Orleans’ Impact magazine and later in the The Blade in Washington DC. Miller has run ads such as this for years in support of the gay community and the fight against AIDS. National ads began in 1994, including an extension of the mainstream “Life is Good” campaign and a tongue-in-cheek series of paper dolls.

Miller Brewing Co., along with Anheuser-Busch, have the distinction of being among the few companies that advertises in gay media and also have a mainstream media commercial with a gay theme.

Beer companies are well represented in The Commercial Closet, largely due to an effort in the mid-1990s to pull away from the industry’s longterm sexist advertising themes that objectified women. Such commercials were summed up by the Swedish Bikini Team ads from Stroh Brewing Co. for Old Milwaukee. Looking for new material to mine, brewers began extensively playing with gay and transgender themes in their advertising. However, because beer drinkers are stereotypically macho, the tone of many of the ads were more negative.