The Gay Sweater was created by the Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity (CCGSD) to make people think about what they’re really saying when they call things ‘so gay’. The derogatory use of the word is not only hurtful, it doesn’t even make sense. People are gay, things are not.
"The bottom line is it gets people thinking about how they use the words (‘that’s so gay’) and also just the deeper question about how much control we actually have about our sexual feelings." - Ashley Monks, Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Toronto
The CCGSD did something courageous by literalizing the words and creating the world’s first and only object that can truly be called ‘so gay’: a sweater knit with 100% gay human hair. A video was created to tell the story and we set about to generate awareness for both the medium and the message.
We debuted the sweater at a Fashion Week guerilla activation and amplified the story through an integrated campaign that included social media and influencer relations along with traditional media relations. We used a number of social assets to promote the use of the #TheGaySweater hashtag across social media channels and enlisted influencers to spread the story.
It blew up with influencers and media across North America and beyond ultimately resulting in over a hundred million impressions and the equivalent of a million dollars in media coverage. You may recognize the sweater from seeing it win at the 2016 Marketing Awards. #TheGaySweater.
An astounding 165 million views around the globe
Over $1 million in paid media equivalent coverage
Every single targeted influencer participated