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Company: American Civil Liberties Union
    View Company Scorecard / Contact Company
Brand: ACLU
Ad Title: The Colonel
Business Category: Regional/Local Politics
Media Outlets: Television
Country: United States
Region: North America, US Regional
Agency: Cole & Weber
Year: 2001, 2002
Target: Mainstream
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Theme(s)

Same-Sex Couples/Families

Theme Breakdown

AdRespect Score: 
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An older man wakes in the morning, does his push-ups, brushes his teeth and gets dressed.

He puts on a military uniform and looks at the photographs of his days as a young man in football and service uniforms, sitting on his dresser.

The screen then shows a single word, "freedom," which momentarily seems to be a patriotic ad, but it is then followed by a shot of the man's bed -- with another man of his age in it. The last screen shows the remainder of the sentence, "to differ."

This commercial shows an effective, non-threatening portrait of a male couple that is not stereotyped and older, in favor of its support of gays in the military.

ACLU-WA Executive Director Kathleen Taylor explains that "the ads are aimed at people in their 20s and 30s who share the beliefs and values of the ACLU but are not members – partly because they do not know much about what we stand for. The campaign intends to show how the ACLU relates to their lives and issues they care about," she said. "The language is intentionally hipper than usual for the ACLU," she added.

Despite the national scope of the subject and the ACLU organization, this commercial aired only in Washington State.

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Robbie , Baton Rouge, LA
There are too few representations of older gay men in media and advertising. This is a fantastic depiction of an everyday morning in this household--there were no sexual overtones of any sort. Kudos to the director of this piece for such tasteful and deliberate display.

Kelby Tarpley , Atlanta
This ad brought tears to my eyes...I am a 24yr old gay man and it's reasons like these which make me never want to support the armed forces.....It's funny how most Americans give indiscriminantly, yet America (the government) only takes indiscrimantly!!!

Darus Walls , Milwaukee
Simple, real, POWERFULL!

Rachel Faulk , Toronto
Powerfully subtle; beautifully done -- it should air all over North America, particularly now.

Dinah Sanders , San Francisco
Having him add the rainbow triangle to his collection of medals is a really nice touch.

Frank Simons , Los Angeles, CA
Wow. What a positive ad. Blows away stereotypes. Reinforces the relevancy and totality of an older gay man's life. As a card-carrying member of the ACLU, I'm very pleased to see my dollars are being used in this way. Now if they would just do at least a national cable buy and show it to the rest of the world!

Max Lamb , Victoria, BC, Canada
Beautiful. One of the best I've ever seen. This and "Bedroom Paint" are the greatest representations of older gay couples. It simply blew my mind. Fantastic work.

Jessicka Pearson , Montréal, Québec, Canada
I'm a 27 "homo-desire" (but also bisexual) woman and I loved it! It is the way ads should be, sometimes representing older people. And so long because there are always many more older people as time passes. And it will have as much of a percentage of gay men! Really sad this ad only passed in the Washington area. Another thing is that the ad is not exactly what I consider great: needing people that go to the war...But well, I respect this! I respect diversity as long as nobody asks me to go to the war myself.

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Fran Drescher
Company: American Civil Liberties Union
Brand: ACLU
Country: United States
Region: North America
Year: 2004



Fran Drescher
Company: American Civil Liberties Union
Brand: ACLU
Country: United States
Region: North America
Year: 2004



If You've Been Fired Because You're Gay
Company: American Civil Liberties Union
Brand: ACLU
Country: United States
Region: North America
Year: 2001



Major
Company: American Civil Liberties Union
Brand: ACLU
Country: United States
Region: North America, US Regional
Year: 2002



Prom
Company: American Civil Liberties Union
Brand: ACLU
Country: United States
Region: North America, US Regional
Year: 2002



Safe, Free & LGBT
Company: American Civil Liberties Union
Brand: ACLU
Country: United States
Region: US National
Year: 2007


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