Love Has No Labels: How mystery x-rays caused an internet phenomenon

20/11/2015

Winner of 8 Cannes Lions including Integrated & Titanium, this public service announcement YouTube video challenges us to open our eyes to our bias and prejudice. The ad, created by the Ad Council, R/GA, Unilever and other corporate and non-profit partners, shows that when advertising gets a message right, it can spread like wildfire.


While the vast majority of Americans consider themselves unprejudiced, many of us unintentionally make snap judgments about people based on what we see—whether it’s race, age, gender, religion, sexuality, or disability.

The poignant three-minute spot, for the "Love Has No Labels" campaign, helped people realise that everyone holds biases, even if they aren't aware of them.

To illustrate this idea, the Ad Council and R/GA set up a giant X-ray screen in Santa Monica, California, on Valentine's Day. It found real people of different genders, abilities and sexual orientations and had them perform little dances behind the screen.

As the people step out from behind the screen, the video captures some audience reactions.
People appear to be caught off guard from the moment the first two kissing women poke their heads out to the end, when two young girls, each of a different race, embrace on stage.

The yearlong campaign, which extended online with stories and a quiz about bias, is designed to make people aware of their implicit biases.

Brands supporting the campaign—including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Allstate, State Farm and others—swapped out their logos on social media channels for the Love Has No Labels icon.

Uploaded first to Upworthy's Facebook page The ad has been viewed over 54 million times. The video also earned over 1 billion media impressions and became the second most viewed PSA in history.

Comments of strings of heart emojis and declarations of praise ("That's the most beautiful thing I've seen in a long time") show how the general public feels about the spot.

The campaign also includes partnerships with eight nonprofits, including the Anti-Defamation League and Human Rights Campaign, so viewers can get more involved in a cause that speaks to them.

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