A new Ad Council public service announcement makes an emotional pitch that love defies labels and might not always look like what you think it does — check your biases at the door, please.
The video was filmed at the NFL Pro Bowl in Orlando last month.
The stadium’s kiss cam did what kiss cams do — scanned and panned the crowd searching for loving couples.
It found plenty: two gay men, an elderly couple, a mixed-race couple, two Special Olympian buddies and a survivor of last year’s shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, watching the game with her girlfriend.
As the kiss cam found them, the couples mugged and hugged and kissed. The crowd cheered them all as they appeared on the stadium’s video screen with a heart around their faces.
In the video, when the woman in the Orlando Survivor T-shirt is shown with her girlfriend, a woman’s voice says, “love is about who you are and not what you are.”
The NFL is just one of several brands currently promoting feel-good messages of inclusion and diversity, the Wall Street Journal pointed out, noting commercials from Airbnb and Coca-Cola during the Super Bowl with similar themes.
The Ad Council is a private, nonprofit organization that makes public service campaigns. The new Love Has No Labels video was created by New York-based agency R/GA with the NFL’s cooperation, according to Ad Age.
“The message is not political, it’s apolitical,” Eric Jannon, an executive creative director at R/GA told the Journal, noting the spot took more than a year to create. “We’ll keep embracing diversity regardless of what’s going on in the White House.”
The inaugural Love Has No Labels video in 2015 showed the skeletons of people standing behind a screen kissing and hugging.
Not until they walked out from behind the screen could you see that the lovers included a gay and interracial couple.
One of the people in the ad declared: “Love is love.”
“I do believe that releasing this piece of film at this moment in time will be incredibly powerful,” Lisa Sherman, Ad Council CEO and president, told the Journal.
The video encourages people to visit the Love Has No Labels website where they can take a quiz to examine their own biases.
“Love Has No Labels is a movement to open our eyes to unconscious bias,” says a statement from the Ad Council.
“While the vast majority of Americans consider themselves unprejudiced, many of us unintentionally make snap judgments about people based on what we see — whether it’s race, age, gender, religion, sexuality, or disability.
“By becoming aware of our own biases, we can work to end bias in ourselves, our families, our friends, and our communities.”