Colorado Springs may not be known for its liberal reputation, but one group is betting on the city’s sense of humor, and puppy dog named Norman.
Since mid-June, Norman, a brown and white puppy, has been appearing on television ads, radio spots, and t-shirts, mooing like a cow. The concept is meant to be a take on sexuality. Does Norman choose to moo or was he born to moo? Do gay people choose to be gay, or were they just born different?
At the end of the spots the audience is invited to go to BornDifferent.org, a website made to discuss the question.The advertising campaign is the brain child of a Public Interest Productions, a non-profit media agency that specializes in making dull public service announcements look sexy…and in this case, cute.
“Anytime the discussion is about sexuality or gay rights people automatically turn to politics or religion….” says Born Different spokesperson Bobby Rauzon. “El Paso county, like it or not, is seen as a battleground over social issues. Its seen as a very contentious, polarizing place, and it doesn’t need to be. And that’s why Norman is-we think-such a help, to the county and to the Springs.”
According to Rauzon, that ads are operating on a $900,000 grant from the Gill Foundation, and were made exclusively for Colorado Springs.
“I’ve always believed, that in the Springs, there’s a silent majority of people who are open to different ideas about whether gay people are born gay or choose to be gay,” Rauzon continued. “I think they’ve been troubled trying to watch their home community get defined by a very vocal minority.”
Although the spots will be gone by mid-August, Rauzon says the campaign is a success because of media publicity and public attention to the issue.