Orbitz: Secretly Advertising Gay Rights?

Most big, mass-market companies won’t come anywhere near social issues, for fear of the protests and counter-protests and fake controversies they spur. So it’s rather amazing that Orbitz, in its current ads, makes a very subtle nod to the gay-rights movement. Check out the commercial, and try to spot the rainbow flag on one of the golf bags, and the logo for the Human Rights Campaign that adorns one of the golfer’s shirts:

We’re assuming this isn’t a hoax, because the video comes from what appears to be Orbitz’s official Youtube channel.

Including a gay character in a commercial isn’t the same as taking up the mantle of gay rights. So what’s going on here? Is it a gotcha slipped in by the commercial’s director? It could be–especially given that Orbitz just dropped the agency that created it. But if Orbitz knowingly included these references, you’d have to give the company some big props for: one, taking the risk in advocating the cause; and two, doing it in such a subtle, clever way that if the Fox-News poo hits the fan, they have a very easy route to plausible deniability (“Promise! We had no idea!”).

Of course, marketing to the gay community makes a ton of sense, business-wise: It’s one of the richest, most well-educated demographics out there. In fact, as GOOD points out, Orbitz has a history of subtle, gay-friendly ads.