Come Together campaign for

Today PlanetOut Inc. and have unveiled a new campaign to create awareness and get people to visit The ads will appear on wallscapes, billboards, and transit shelters and in gay-focused print media in key markets including San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and Boston, as well as in mid-sized markets including Houston, Dallas, Atlanta and San Diego.

The "Come Together" campaign was produced by an internal creative team which included Christy Schaefer, director of the Creative Services Group for PlanetOut Inc. and graphic designers Ivan Vargas and Donovan Smandra and was shot by San Francisco photographer Erik Butler.

"This is a message about inclusion in an environment of exclusion," said Lowell Selvin, chairman and CEO of PlanetOut Inc. "We strongly believe that gay people deserve to love, to be together and to enjoy all the ideals and privileges that the American flag represents. We also think that this campaign will elicit an emotional response in gay and straight people alike."

The "Come Together" campaign is designed to make a strong, affirming statement, as well as to draw members and subscribers to The story of the campaign evolves through each of three executions. In the first execution, called "Anthem," two men stand defiant before the American flag, strong in their separate beliefs. Through the next two executions, called "Embody" and "Comfort," the men unite, finding love and companionship.

Christy Schaefer said, "The campaign depicts two men who overcome their political division by finding a personal connection as they debate their passionate viewpoints," she said. "For our campaign, we chose the American flag as the object of debate and the hero."

I like the sentiment of the campaign but can't help but find the line "Come Together" cheesy as well is making me think "Eeep!", especially when the shots are of males in a state of undress. Not that I'm against them coming together, per se, but it's just a question of how the public takes that line I suppose. Although considering that they are placing the ads in more gay friendly areas, perhaps that won't be an issue.

Agency: PlanetOut Inc

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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Dabitch's picture

Aye this seems to be the problem with the campaign, not the "risque" pun
but the whole "what is that meant to mean?" problem. Pretty couples poses
under flag.... Uh-huh, and? It's meant to attract visitors/new members to a website called gay,com - what does this website offer? Naked men posing in flags? Arty photography? See what I mean? Sounds like the ad agency is unsure of what the campaigns goal really is, as well as this journalist at Inside Bay Area:

In any world,'s latest advertising campaign misses the mark

Whichever world I'm in, the campaign doesn't seem like a good idea. Not because I don't want to see anyone in bed, straight or gay (which I don't), or anyone under a flag, whether it's American, Polish or one of those suburban holiday-themed ones (which I really don't).

It has nothing to do with gay vs. straight, patriot vs. traitor, shocking vs. coddling. Instead, it's because the ad campaign is completely off-point.

As I understand it, the issue that's been on the table of late, for both gay proponents and opponents, is about marriage, not about intimacy. And the issue is with the word "marriage." One side has imbued the word with God, church and biblical connotations. The other side just knows it's the only word to use that represents what they need to have to have equal rights. Same sex unions simply don't have the same rights that marriages do. Hence, the inequity, hence, the conundrum.

In my admittedly straight opinion, it's a shame that the ad alludes to none of this. Because quite likely, it will alienate the very community from whom they're seeking empathy by reaffirming that tired stereotype that a segment of society subscribes to: that gay men are only interested in sex.

Dabitch's picture

My guess is that they'll laugh at the pun. I love puns. ;)

Neo's picture

No. No. NoNo. That's a godawful pun. Shame on you db!

AnonymousCoward's picture

I'm sorry, which ad depicts two men who overcome their political division? I can't tell wich couple is debating their passionate viewpoints. Cum together indeed.

caffeinegoddess's picture

Can't you tell- the one with the sideburns is obviously the liberal ;)