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The ‘New Normal’: Yogurt, Lesbian Lovers, and Advertising

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Greek yogurt brand Chobani debuted the latest television spot for its Simply 100 yogurt on Monday, with a surprise twist at the end–in the closing seconds of the ad, the couple eating yogurt in bed are revealed to be lesbians.

Created by ad agency Opperman Weiss, the 30-second spot, part of the brand’s new seven-part “Love This Life” campaign, features a naked woman eating Chobani yogurt in bed next to her partner. The woman leans over and tickles her partner’s foot, then seductively slides off the bed as the brand’s new slogan appears onscreen.

Chobani CMO Peter McGuiness told ad industry magazine AdWeek that using a lesbian couple in the spot was a “natural progression” for the new campaign. The campaign hopes to highlight a “series of modern American stories that connect the brand’s values to its fans’ values.”

“For us, it’s why not [feature a same-sex couple] – not why,” McGuiness told AdWeek. “There’s nothing new here, per say. Inclusion and equality has been and is foundational and fundamental to the company.”

Chobani is the latest brand to include same-sex couples in its advertising. In January, luxury jewelry outlet Tiffany & Co. introduced its first-ever spot featuring a gay couple getting engaged. Other brands featuring same-sex couples in its ads include Wells Fargo and clothing retailer Gap.

Television advertising represents something of a new frontier for the LGBT movement. Of course, television itself has exploded with critically-acclaimed programming featuring gay and transgender characters.

Bruce Jenner, who came out as a woman last month on a now-infamous Vanity Fair magazine cover, is set to star in I Am Cait, a new eight-part docu-series about living as a transgender woman premiering this summer on the E! network. Fourteen-year-old transgender high-schooler Jazz Jennings will also get her own reality show, All That Jazz, on TLC this summer. Those shows are just the first in an expected bump in transgender-themed reality television programming.

Transgender actor Laverne Cox earned an Emmy nomination for the Netflix prison series Orange is the New Black, while Jeffrey Tambor picked up a Golden Globe for his role as transitioning father Maura Pfefferman in Amazon’s Transparent, which itself won Best Television Series honors at this year’s Globes.

Over on network television, Jussie Smollet portrays Jamal Lyon, the gay son of a hip-hop mogul on Empire, the biggest show on TV last season. And in March, ABC Family’s The Fosters made history by airing the youngest-ever same-sex kiss between two 13-year-old boys.

“Put it this way: I’m the new normal,” Jenner says at the end of the promo for the new I Am Cait reality series.

Whether you agree with it or not, Jenner appears to be right.


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