Thoughts on Campy Moments in Advertising

Thoughts on Campy Moments in Advertising

A 1960s gay publication called Drum (issue number 22, undated, but probably 1966) published by the Janus Society of America, displayed a keen sense of humor in its features called “Gay Moments in Advertising” and “Gay Moments in News Coverage.” Given that life for LGBT citizens in America during that supposedly liberating time (for heterosexuals, that is) was a life of secrecy and oppression, many gay-related venues resorted to “drag” or “camp” as a way of sublimating feelings of fear and shame. 



The iconic Rolling Stones in drag (ad originally appeared in Billboard):  

Billboard 1966, Rolling Stones ad

And what looks like hanky-panky on the football field in this case, not the locker room:

Milwaukee Journal ad


























Perhaps anything from that era now seems “campy” to us as we look back on it from a distance of profound and rapid social and cultural change. 


And now that we've pretty much figured out that supposedly “straight” moments in advertising often originated in the eroticization of men and the male figure, which started long before the sexual liberation of the sixties and seventies, what's the future of gay camp other than the usual drag queens on Gay Pride floats the media always shows in its coverage? Or has camp become this person “camping it up” next to a Coca-Cola ad in this photo I found on tumblr, which to me seems just stupid, not really campy? 



I'll leave you to wrestle that question, but in the meantime, thinking of Coca-Cola, I'll take Lucky Vanous the Diet Coke guy commercials as my favorite (and dick-hardening as well) “campy straight” advertisement. Here's a link.



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