From going through a ride-thru on a skateboard to coming out to your father, these local LGBTQIA+ ads hit us in the feels.
When it comes to proper LGBTQIA+ representation in media, it shouldn’t be just limited to movies and shows, but in all mediums, such as commercials. As trivial as it may sound, having LGBTQIA+ characters star in commercials and ads does go a long way in helping normalize the experiences of the community. After all, the experiences of queer individuals, couples, and families deserve to be told and catered to in commercials. Their stories matter, and it’s exactly what takes center stage in the following locally-made ads.
Over the years, Filipino companies and local branches of multinational corporations recognized the power of representation and the community’s spending power by putting LGBTQIA+ stories at the heart of their commercials. And while these companies offer different services, their ads all spoke to the importance of being loved, something many members of the community don’t get often. Scroll down for a list of local ads that got social media talking with their inclusive stories.
The fast food chain is no stranger to releasing LGBTQIA+ commercials, but the one launched by McDo Philippines for this year’s Pride Month stands out as something special. Entitled You’re My Happy Place, the ad follows a woman (played by queer TVC actor Ky Mahinay) as she goes through a McDonald’s ride-through on her skateboard as she buys items from a female employee (played by SEA Games medalist and three-time World Obstacle record holder Kaizen Dela Serna).
It’s clear that the two have a spark going on, and they take their flirting to the next level when they meet outside the restaurant after the employee’s shift. Once released, the simple yet sweet sapphic love story broke the internet with millions of views and impressions on Facebook and Twitter. Who knew going through a ride-thru would be so wholesome?
For Christmas 2022, Ikea Philippines released an ad that brought together seemingly unrelated things, coming out, drag, and tables. Entitled Hapag, the commercial follows a son who tries but seemingly can’t come out to his father. One day, the father catches his son making out with his boyfriend. During Noche Buena, the son officially introduces his boyfriend to his dad, which causes him to go into his room.
While the son initially feared rejection, it turns out that the dad was just getting into drag as Ramona, revealing that he accepts the son for who he is before using their Ikea table to have dinner. While it was a twist we didn’t see coming, we love how it was released during the holiday season, showing that LGBTQIA+ families are just as valid as straight families.
Who could forget this iconic ad from Bench? Used to promote their So In Love scent, the commercial stars Limer Veloso (who would later go on to play Migz Agripa in He’s Into Her) as JR, a closeted college student who develops a crush on a boy in school. While JR tries to keep his sexuality a secret, his dad soon catches on. When JR gets heartbroken as his crush is in a relationship with a woman, his dad comforts him and buys him a new bottle of the scent he used to get his crush’s attention, showing that he accepts and loves his son for who he is.
Coming out can be one of the hardest things members of the LGBTQIA+ community can do, especially for sons coming out to their fathers. This award-winning ad from Smart in 2016 showcases the power of having a loving parent. Entitled Accepted, the commercial centers on Kevin, a young man who is afraid to accept his dad’s friend request before he fears that he’ll see his photos with his boyfriend. But that fear dissipates when Kevin texts his dad that he accepted his request, and he responds by saying that he accepted who he is. Cue the waterworks.
Despite the strides Philippine society has made in terms of LGBTQIA+ acceptance, some still see identifying anything other than straight as an illness, disease, or sin, causing some members of the community to feel ashamed of who they are. This Lazada ad wants to remove those feelings of guilt and implore you to Be Proud. Be You. The commercial starts with a gay man, transgender woman, and lesbian saying sorry since they feel that they’re in spaces they don’t belong in.
The ad then goes on to show how often LGBTQIA+ people say sorry just for being who they are. Yet, the trio is met with kindness and encouragement from straight allies who accept them for who they are. It just goes to show the importance of building safe spaces for the LGBTQIA+ community, especially for straight allies in making them feel accepted in society.
Sometimes, LGBTQIA+ stories can just be simple tales of kilig, as seen in this wholesome commercial from Uber. Based on the actual experiences of AJ Tabangay, the ad centers on a young man on an Uber pool, with the person he’s carpooling with so happening to be his crush. As his dream-come-true carpool continues, AJ updates Twitter on his kilig moments, eventually ending with the Y/N experience of his crush talking to him and saying that he should pass through his side of the door because it’s nearer to his destination.
This Close-Up commercial is all about shooting your shot. Entitled P.S. I Love You, Bro, the short film tells the tale of two men who have a chance encounter at a café. Their quick glances at each other soon give way to their internal monologues revealing that they like each other. Eventually, their meet-cute gets its happy ending when one of them overcomes his fears and makes the first move.