gorton's seafood ad campaign
gorton's seafood ad campaign

This New Ad Campaign by Gorton’s Seafood Is a Progressive Move in a Very Heteronormative Industry

There’s a new ad campaign for Gorton’s Seafood, and it features sexy men instead of sexy women. Did you ever think you’d see sexy, Adonis-like hunks — clad as mermen — included in a commercial for frozen fish? Neither did we. But we’re totally here for the Gorton’s Seafood ad campaign, and here’s why.

In one clip from the Gorton’s Seafood ad campaign, a daddy Poseidon informs us that with Gorton’s, “This temple can remain perfectly pristine and ready for … anything.”

Another clip, which has over 200,000 views, is captioned “Meet the Mer-Bros. These two take their meal plan very seriously, which is why they count on the Gorton’s Fisherman for real, easy protein that’s quick to make on those double-session days. See why Gorton’s is the only seafood trusted by those who know.”

“What’s great about this [Gorton’s Seafood ad campaign] is that it leaves the consumer with more questions than answers, which leads to so many options for future content,” Alyssa Toro, Connelly Partners’ chief creative officer, told MediaPost.

That outlet also reports:

The campaign, which was shot on White Point Beach in San Pedro, California, and directed by Hungry Man’s Conor Byrne, is designed to be visually stimulating as well as quirky and ironic. Legacy Effects, the shop behind the costumes in Marvel’s movie franchise, created the costumes for characters of the sea – who were complimented by the same slicker-clad Fisherman introduced in last year’s campaign.

Sure, it’s nice to look at sexy men on the beach, but what’s really happening is a progressive move in what’s typically the very heteronormative advertising industry. Gorton’s is a mainstream brand, and its depictions of sexualized men is not only homoerotic but groundbreaking as well.

While not as mainstream as Gorton’s, the gay-focused lube brand Boy Butter has also been trailblazing with its depiction of sexualized men in advertising. Boy Butter’s ad, which has run during RuPaul’s Drag Race on VH1, features an apron-wearing gay man churning butter provocatively.

Boy Butter’s Eyal Feldman has referenced the ads of big companies like Carl’s Jr and their provocative ads of sexualized women being deemed socially acceptable. But when you replace the woman with a gay man, it’s often considered inappropriate or is looked down upon socially.

“A sexy, busty woman being suggestive and showing a lot of skin is fine, but if you just replace that woman with a gay man, it is a much different story,” he wrote on his blog after he had trouble getting his commercial spot aired during Season 9 of Drag Race.

But the Gorton’s Seafood ad campaign using sexy merman is bold and progressive in all the right ways. Usually we’re not a fan of fish … but this time we’ll dive in and support this company the next time we’re in the frozen foods section of our local grocers.

What do you think of the Gorton’s Seafood ad campaign? Sound off in the comments below and on Facebook.