Absolut Vodka's #AbsolutNights campaign centers on archetypes that don't get much attention in traditional advertising—including a widow, a woman attracted to other women and now a transgender person.
The newest ad in the series, titled "Darla," features a guy at a music festival who runs into an old friend, who's gone through gender reassignment and renamed herself. As they run the gauntlet of cool music festival stuff, Darla explains her experience in a teachable moment that honors the campaign's tagline, "When was the last time you were true to yourself? Sometimes being open to new possibilities is all it takes."
Reaction to this ad has been mixed, to say the least. The most mature response came from Unicorn Booty, whose editor-in-chief both slagged the ad for being a "typical cisgender redemption story," which it totally is, and cautiously applauded it for being "one of the few [ads] from a major company that even acknowledges trans existence."
Unicorn Booty's response is a fair one, we think. Considering who Absolut's preferred demographics are, it shouldn't surprise anyone that the ad's protagonist is a cisgender guy who's cool enough to accept his trans friend. But now that we know brands are open to speaking to the trans community in a way that isn't crass or insulting, we should definitely ask more of them.