Tylenol celebrates the ‘Modern Family’ in pro-gay ad

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NEW YORK (June 13, 2015) — Tylenol is pro-gay.

That’s the message, loud and clear, in the latest Tylenol ad.

The 30-second commercial from Johnson & Johnson opens with the question “When were you first considered a family?” Then it depicts traditional, heterosexual couples and families.

Then the ad asks the question, “When did you first fight to be considered a family?” This is followed by images of a lesbian couple at what appears to be a prom, a mixed race wedding, followed by a mixed race couple with a kid and then a couple with adopted kids of different races.

The ad ends with an image of two gay men doting over a baby as the voiceover says, “Family isn’t defined by who you love, but how.”

Tylenol is promoting this “Modern Family”-style ad through the hashtag #HowWeFamily.

This isn’t the first time that J&J has challenged traditional perceptions of the American family. In an ad last year, J&J juxtaposed the all-white family theme of Norman Rockwell’s Thanksgiving painting “Freedom from Want” against non-white families and same-sex parents.

This sort of thing is unusual for large mainstream corporations, but not unprecedented. General Mills shook things up in 2013 with a Cheerios commercials depicting a mixed race family. But race was not the central theme of the ads. Rather, the ads depicted the mixed race family as completely normal, going about their daily routine.