This Gay Pride Ad From Allstate Will Tug at Your Heart

Expanding the LGBTQ Conversation
June 16 2014 6:10 PM

Allstate Wins Pride With Raw and Moving Commercial

ohh_905
Allstate supports queer visibility.

Detail from #OutHoldingHands campaign.

It’s easy to cast a cynical eye at corporate attempts to court the favor of the LGBTQ community, especially when they come off as tokenistic in their approach. But in recent months we’ve seen a surge of commercials and ad campaigns that feel, even to my cold, jaded heart, like they’re coming from a pretty genuine place. The difference between the old, slip-a-gay-couple-in-with-the-normal-people paradigm and this new mood is, I think, one of unapologetic boldness—as in the recent Honey Maid triumph—and, perhaps, the involvement of actual queer people in the campaign creation.

That kind of true gay experience is palpable in Allstate’s deeply poignant new ad, released as part of their 2014 #OutHoldingHands Pride effort, called “Safe in My Hands,” a play on the insurance company’s “You’re in Good Hands” slogan. The spot—almost a short film—features the beautifully animated story of a man who struggles growing up with an oversized hand, set to a moving score by Eli Loeb. If that metaphor for gayness sounds contrived (it struck me that way at first), give the video a moment or two longer. As our protagonist goes from dealing with poor athletic skills to sustaining disdainful looks from strangers on the subway platform, those who have felt and still feel marked, surveilled, and summarily despised in public because of their sexual orientations and gender identities are likely to find the giant hand image rather apt. Lucky for us, though, there are many other open big-handers and big-hand allies out there these days, as our hero ultimately discovers.

Advertisement

Obviously, Allstate intends this ad to be a business draw—the campaign site is very happy to help you find an agent—but such a lovely object could not have come from a place of total calculation. When Allstate says, “We believe everyone should be treated with respect and without judgment no matter who they love,” I’m inclined to believe them.

J. Bryan Lowder is a Slate assistant editor. He writes and edits for Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section, and for the culture section.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 2 2014 9:19 AM Alibaba’s Founder on Why His Company Is Killing It in China
  Life
Quora
Oct. 2 2014 8:27 AM How Do Teachers Kill the Joy of Reading for Students?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Culturebox
Oct. 2 2014 9:08 AM Demons Are Real A horror movie goes behind the scenes on an Intervention-like reality show.
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 2 2014 7:30 AM What Put the Man in the Moon in the Moon?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?