Vodacom’s queer spin ad for Valentine’s Day garners praise

Mobile communications company Vodacom is embracing the love for Valentine’s Day this month by including the LGBTQ+ community within its advertising.

Celebrating the “month of love deals” Vodacom has embarked on a Facebook campaign that demonstrates that the telecommunications company is reaching out to the rainbow community and making strides to be a more inclusive brand.

With more than 55 million customers and operations that include networks in Tanzania, the DRC, Mozambique and Lesotho, the ad campaign consisted of a photo of a same-sex couple captioned: “You’re the perfect match, now all you need are matching Huawei’s”.

Driving the ad home is the wording below the pictured couple: “For those who take pride in their relationship,” which helped push the message that Vodacom is encouraging a patronage from across-the-board.

The ad has got those on social media commending them for making the right moves when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights of South Africans, with the ad reaching an audience in areas where homosexuality and same-sex love are still considered to be extremely taboo.

Under section 9 of the Constitution, LGBT rights in South Africa is protected and forbids discrimination on the basis of sex, gender or sexual orientation, according to SA's basic human rights.

In 1998, Parliament passed the Employment Equity Act that protects South Africans from labour discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, among other categories. In 2000, similar protections were extended to public accommodations and services, with the commencement of the Promotion of
Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act.

“The first thing I did was screenshot this and send it to my best friend! I love this! I’m so changing to Vodacom”,commented one Facebook user.

“Oh Vodacom I love you even more,” said another user.

Another was elated for the having the representation of the community, “Thanks for the representation Vodacom!”, while one commented: “I’m so happy to see a proudly South African company standing up for the LGBTQ+ community”.

Vodacom is helping in playing a critical role and changing perspectives and supporting equal treatment and rights, setting the standard for other local companies to consider their stance and role in inclusivity.