As the kiss cam swung through the crowd at the 2017 Pro Bowl in Orlando, it zoomed in on a man and a woman, sitting next to each other and smiling at the game. When they caught themselves on the jumbotron, they laughed in the awkward way of people thrown suddenly into the spotlight, but the man went for it: He leaned over, and kissed not the woman, but the man next to him.
That’s the opening scene of “Fans of Love,” an extension of the Love Has No Labels campaign, which launched nationally in 2015 with a video of skeletons dancing and embracing behind a screen, then emerging to reveal themselves as a diverse array of couples: gay, straight, elderly, young, differently abled, different races. The video racked up 164 million views and an Emmy for best commercial–the first for a PSA. “The idea was to find these unexpected moments, where people think they’re going to see something, and it turns out to be something else,” Heidi Arthur tells Co.Exist in an interview. Arthur oversees the Love Has No Labels campaign for the Ad Council, who produced the videos along with R/GA.
Like the original skeletons video, “Fans of Love,” which premiered across a variety of channels from Facebook to Upworthy on the morning of Valentine’s Day, “shines the spotlight on diversity and inclusion through highlighting different types of relationships,” Arthur says. But unlike the first campaign, it does so by tapping into and reframing perhaps the most essentially all-American (and maybe not traditionally so accepting) activity: a football game. “It’s taking this iconic sports moment–the kiss cam–and turning it into something that highlights unconditional love in all forms,” Arthur says. Throughout the game, the camera pans through the crowd, catching elderly couples, young friends, and groups of all races united in the same spirit; one particularly poignant shot lingers on woman in an rainbow-colored “Orlando Survivor” shirt as she stands to embrace her girlfriend.
The PSA ends with an invitation for viewers to “rethink bias at lovehasnolabels.com.” On the site, there’s a quiz that people can take to help them examine their own biases; the Ad Council and R/GA solicited the input of the Anti-Defamation League, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Human Rights Campaign, the American Association of People with Disabilities, the AARP, and the Perception Institute to create a platform of resources and actionable steps to rethink and eliminate biases and prejudices on a daily basis.
Though just under two-minutes long, the video is a powerful reminder of all the different types of love that exist in the world, and that what love looks like from the outside has no bearing on its strength or validity. As the video claims in a voiceover at the end: “Love is about who you are, not what you are.”