Oreo is one of a growing number of corporate brands that have taken a stance on gay rights. In 2012 -- the brand’s centennial year -- Oreo posted an update on Facebook that featured an Oreo with multicolor fillings. The message: “Proudly support love!”
Since then, Oreo has doubled down on its stance. This is the third straight year that the company is working with PFLAG on its pride campaign. In 2020, Oreo posted “Proud Parent,” a short in which a young woman’s father paints the yard fence rainbow colors to show his support.
Oreo just released “The Note,” a film by director Alice Wu about a young man of Chinese descent rehearsing his coming-out speech. A caption reads, “Coming out doesn’t just happen once,” and adds, “Be a lifelong ally.”
The ad has angered conservative speakers like Greg Kelly and Ben Shapiro, who both vowed to boycott “gay cookies” in light of the ad, according to The Mary Sue. For its part, Oreo has donated $500,000 to PFLAG.
It should be noted that other brands, including Betty Crocker, Amazon and Campbell Soup, have released pro-gay ads. A 2020 Gallup poll showed that 70% of the public—a record high—support gay marriage. That compares to a 32% level of support in 1986. Even the NFL declared that “Football is Gay” in a pride ad.
Oreo, in other words, was a harbinger of significant support of gay rights among brands. But there is also a significant portion of the public against the idea. So the best path for most marketers is to be cognizant of current trends and take whatever stance makes you and your brand comfortable.