While car companies are charged with continually innovating their technologies and designs, they stand on the shoulders of tradition, more or less, with many echoing the established values and sensibilities of their founders. So when a car company comes along in open support of a polarizing subject like homosexuality — as General Motors did with its lighthearted Chevrolet Volt ad at this year’s Motor City Pride event in Detroit — it warrants a degree of respect and acknowledgment.
In an age where the court of public opinion swings like a pendulum, at a time where our levels of tolerance are nowhere near where we envision them to be, we can’t help but praise General Motor’s latest ad, which broaches the unimaginably difficult subject of “coming out” when a Chevy Volt must ultimately face the truth and steps forth from the closest to say, “Mom, Dad, I’m electric.”
The ad for the extended-range plug-in hybrid appeared in Between the Lines, a Detorit-based newspaper that largely targets Detroit’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. And aside from being rather clever and lighthearted, the Chevy Volt ad serves as a smart play on the American automaker’s part to address a community that is, by and large, known for being more “eco-friendly.”
But it isn’t the first time General Motors has targeted the LBGT community; in fact, GM happens to have a long and admirable history of supporting LGBT causes, including Gay Day at the Movie, as well as contributing to the It Gets Better campaign. Of course GM’s latest Volt ad doesn’t mean the company is above taking the more, how shall we put it…scantily-clad route when it comes to advertising (Coachella Volt Recharge Lounge anyone?), but at the very least it’s encouraging to see a major corporation show its support for a community that has been — and will likely continue to be — marginalized.