GAY TIMES and Grey London have launched Amplifund campaign - "Incomplete Without the T".
This speech was shown at GAY TIMES Honours during Trans Awareness Week in response to increased transphobia and hate in the global media.
Look, I'll be honest here. The first time I put a "missing letters" idea up in Badland was twenty-two years ago when M&M's in The Netherlands copied the 1990's campaign ’ingle ’ells, ’ingle ’ells — the holidays aren’t the same without J&B. That is to say, this concept is old, yo. Born at DDB breakaway agency Grace & Rothschild, which was founded by Diane Rothschild, that ad ran for years during the holiday season in different variants, and was quite famous.
Point is, there is no way you weren't aware of this campaign if you've studied advertising. That's why this is badlanded.
So let's watch. A robot-like voiceover reads out the headlines, but without the "T" in each, rendering most of it rather incoherent. The point being that without the "T" the LGBTQ is not unified.
So, with that out of the way, you will immediately recognize what the base concept is here. The letter ‘T’ is removed from a range of headlines, to show that LGBTQ isn't the same "without the T." The art direction relies on the colors of the trans flag, and bold font to make the missing "t" more apparent. These designs are running as OOH posters, wild posters, and as social posts across Gay Times' channels.
Laura Jordan Bambach, the president and chief creative officer UK at Grey, says in a release that “trans people have led the way in LGBTQ+ rights from the Stonewall riots to our own rallies and direct actions here in the UK.”
Sorry, but that is a hotly debated myth, that has somehow become a very sticky idea in the younger generation. It's been widely accepted that Stormé DeLarverie was the catalyst for the Stonewall riots, with many eyewitnesses pointing out that it erupted when she (or possibly another butch lesbian in men's clothing) was being arrested and called out "Why don't you do something?" See "Stormé DeLarverie" at NPS.gov. Stormé wasn't trans.
Stormé DeLarverie was a biracial butch lesbian “drag king” entertainer, who still MC'ed the drag king nights at Stonewall Inn when I was in college and attended them. She was a pillar of the LGBTQ community, called herself the “guardian of the lesbians in The Village” and died in 2014.
That same year people began erasing her contribution to the Stonewall riots and the community, and now here we are. The advertising industry is helping to bury her legacy. A C-level woman too, and a queer woman in advertising at that. I'm not sure where Laura got her information but I think we can venture a guess that she never attended a drag king night at the Stonewall Inn when Stormé was there. If she had, she would never.
You can see an interesting interview with Stormé here where she laments that she was so butch she didn't "look right" in women's clothes and back when it was illegal "I got picked up twice for being a drag queen!"
So aside from the old tired idea and promoting falsehoods, I suppose this campaign is alright.
Client : Gay Times Amplifund
CEO : Tag Warner
Executive creative director : Josh Fletcher
Group marketing and communications manager : Jared Fleming
Creative agency : Grey London
President and chief creative officer : Laura Jordan Bambach
Executive creative director : Celeste Dalairac
Head of art : Costanza Rossi
Senior copywriter : Lucy Jones
Senior art director : Chaz Mather
Creative operations : James McNichol
Studio and design manager : Shanie Adams
SVP, managing partner : Mohamed Kahwaji
Chief strategy officer : Raquel Chicourel
Joint head of strategy : Annalisa Roy
Planning director : Thomas Bunnell
Producer : Sam Henshaw
Head of design : Sunir Patel
Senior art designers : Steve Price Kit Suman Tyrone Zall Kenny Brannon