Last Friday, Brett Smiley, an openly gay candidate for mayor of Providence, Rhode Island, released what is almost certainly the most adorable campaign ad ever made.
In addition to cleverly riffing on the style of Wes Anderson, the ad gently displays Smiley’s status as a married gay man without hitting us over the head with it. Openly gay candidates in deep blue states have been striving to tout their orientation in ads for a while, but none has ever incorporated it so naturalistically—or sweetly. Even though the ad shows Smiley proposing to his husband (with a PowerPoint chart titled “Brett’s Plan for Happily Ever After”), his orientation barely registers upon first viewing, so organically is it incorporated into the collage of whimsical images. The ad is a charming piece of self-promotion—and a delightful dispatch from post-gay America.
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