Viewers of the TV show “Glee” this week were treated to a couple of surprises during one of the commercial breaks: An ad for Google Chrome, from a company that rarely advertises on television. And a starring role in that ad by Dan Savage, better known to many as the sex columnist and editorial director for The Stranger alternative weekly newspaper in Seattle.
The ad for the Google browser spotlights the “It Gets Better Project,” as an example of the power of the web, and the capabilities of the Google browser. “It Gets Better” is a worldwide initiative to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender kids, inspired by a video created by Savage and his partner, Terry.
Savage told the story behind the ad on the Stranger’s Slog blog earlier this week, and hinted that it will also be appearing during the NBA playoffs.
Not all queer kids watch Glee, not all queer kids can risk watching Glee, not all queer kids are allowed to watch Glee. And Terry and I gave Google the okay to use the It Gets Better campaign in their Google Chrome campaign to reach queer kids. Which is why we asked—in our very first meeting with Google—for the ad to run during other programs, and other kinds of programming, not just during gay-friendly programs. So the ad will be appearing elsewhere. Keep your eyes peeled.
It seems to us like a classic win-win, as they say, with Google promoting its browser by spotlighting a worthy initiative, and that initiative getting some publicity in the process. Not everyone in the LGBT community sees it that way — with one person criticizing Google for producing the ad and Savage for participating in it. But others support what Savage did.
More on the broader Google campaign in this New York Times story.