Transgender-Positive Banking Ad from Argentina

In the ad above, an elderly man pays a visit to a transgender hair salon owner in his small town. The man says to the woman, “[I wanted to] come and apologize to you for treating you badly all this time. For not knowing how to treat you.” Over at SocImages, where this was spotted, Gwen observes:

Often when I see companies touting their tolerance/eco-friendliness/good-neighborliness, I suspect it may be a marketing ploy with little change in actions or policies behind it–you can, for instance, celebrate Black History Month by putting up signs in your business and doing nothing else, and there’s little cost. It occurred to me after I watched the commercial that in this case the bank professed a type of tolerance that wasn’t risk-free to it. Saying your business is eco-friendly, or celebrates a civil rights hero from the past, or honors Carnival or Christmas or a local athletic team or the marching band, isn’t likely to make many people angry, which is why businesses usually stick to such safe issues. I’m by no means an expert on Argentinian culture and attitudes toward the transgender community; I’ve read that Argentinians are more accepting of people who are transgender, but I’ve also read that this acceptance is often over-exaggerated and that anti-gay and anti-transgender attitudes still exist, particularly outside of urban areas. Anyway, I assume that an Argentinian business might suffer some negative consequences from an ad like this that so openly and unequivocally advocates for acceptance, and I think it’s sort of fascinating that they decided to run it anyway.

For the most part, transgender people in advertising appear in hokey, stereotypical ways.  Most frequently, you’ll find them shilling hair removal products and providing us with fine slapstick comedy. It’s not often that you see transgender people in finance/banking. The one other time that the two intersected was in this two-year-old Israeli AIG ad featuring Dana International. What makes the Argentinian ad above really special is that the PSA for acceptance is targeted towards a demographic that usually ends up ignored in the hip trend of transgender advertising: the elderly conservative.

Meanwhile, back in the US of A, Depends recently launched a charming new campaign to promote its new products for men and women.  Sigh. You win some, you lose some.

17 Responses to “Transgender-Positive Banking Ad from Argentina”

  1. BlueAnchorNatasha Says:

    The first video was incredible. Alright America, follow suit!
    As far as the second video, did they have to use stereotypes? If thats not the proper word, then what I mean is did they have to play upon popular cultural um. hmm. differences.. which really are not differences at all, since it is different with every individual regardless of gender? Then again if they used gender itself, it would still interfere with the transgender-friendly message in this post. I digress.

  2. Nadya Says:

    Depends could’ve easily, simply said “hey, men and women’s bodies are built differently, so we’ve designed adult diapers to accommodate those anatomical differences” and launched a successful ad campaign around that no-bullshit concept, without confusing the issue with that blue-is-for-men, women-can’t-drive nonesense. If they’d done that, I don’t think that it would’ve been offensive to the transgender community or the feminist community at all. However, they chose the dark path…

  3. Bean Says:

    Oh gracious, I know I’m hormonal, but that commercial totally made me cry. Big, happy, touched tears.

  4. Infamous Amos Says:

    The first ad is top notch. Never mind being heartfelt and bold, it is also just a really well made commercial that people will remember. Makes me wonder if that ad is successful, they may re-use the old guy as their spokesman. Every new commercial finds him driving all around town apologising to everyone he treated like crap, because the bank saw then as equals. In a darkly and sublimely amusing way, I like that idea.

    Now, the depends ad… ugh…

    It’s not even the sexism that bugs me, or the lazy “lets just make it look like a Mac ad” approach to advertising. Its the fact that they are using bad stand-up comedy routines from the 80s to sell their products. The next ads they make will be about airline food and Reaganomics.

  5. Lydia Says:


    You’re not alone. I cried after the Argentinian ad, too! Thanks, Coilhouse, for posting it.

  6. Kevin Says:

    @Bean The first time I saw that ad on a trans-forum I frequent, it almost made me cry, too. There’s something seemingly heartfelt to it that a simple recognition of “transpeople are real and are our customers” would have been able to match. It’s a really canny and socially aware ad.

  7. Celine Says:

    *wipes tears from eyes* As someone who wrestles with their gender identity and the bullshit assumptions people have about transpeople, this ad was something almost unreal to watch. I would not have expected that something like this could exist in my lifetime. This gives me hope.

  8. Nadya Says:

    Actually I just watched the Satinelle ad again all the way to the end and remembered that the character is a drag queen, not a transwoman, but the point remains.

    @ Celine: That’s so funny, because for the longest time when I followed you on LJ, I thought you were a boy for some reason. And: you’re too young to think that way, in regards to doubting you’d see something like this in your lifetime! We are going to see tremendous changes in our lifetime – here, in the Middle East, everywhere. It’s going to be a completely different world by the time we’re even just 50. And by the time we’re 80, we’re gonna be the conservative ones. :)

    I’m glad you guys liked the ad, and that I’m not the only sap around here. :)

  9. cappy Says:

    Man, the world is a huge place. One minute I’m hearing on the radio about how the Taliban are throwing acid in girls’ faces in Afghanistan for trying to go to school, the next day I’m watching an ad for a bank that’s fully accepting of transgender people from Argentina.

  10. Beth Says:

    Thankyou for this. This has been projected to millions in its country and obviously discussed on many internets. This is great news to me – even if it is an advert.

    EDIT – Oh crap… just actually watched the pathetic Depend adverts. Here’s to equality! Hurrah! And I bet even more people have been subjected to this drivel than the Argentinian ad.

  11. Jerem Morrow Says:

    Wasn’t despairing I’d never see this sort of thing, but it is mildly shocking it came about so soon.

  12. Banking Spot from Argentina about transgender tolerance « YGG’noise Says:

    […] Coilhouse, comes this banking advert from Argentina that is transgender-positive. I definitely took enjoyment […]

  13. R. Says:

    The Depends ad didn’t bother me because I’ve heard that argument since I was a child and while it may be sexist, it might not be. Why? Because both sexes are saying the other is the worse driver. Wouldn’t that make the woman sexist too?

    Anyhow, the bank ad was nice. Beautifully shot and tugged on the right heartstrings.

  14. Anja Flower Says:

    Thank you… thank you for showing that bank ad to the world. It makes me feel that I, as a transbeing, am noticed, am cared about, which is what I really need right now as I am in a very sensitive spot at the moment. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  15. Sebastian Says:

    I had completely forgotten this ad. I remember being surprised when it started showing on TV here in Argentina. It went unnoticed at the time. I expected some kind of comment over the media, but nothing happened. I think it was just one spot in a broader campaing. Eventually the spot disappeared and some time later there was a new campaing (so is the way with advertising).

    It is very moving, and gets the message through, I’m thrilled that it is being shown over the internet as a spot on tolerance. At the time I thought the message some would read was ‘If we lent money to a transgender, we will lend it to anyone’.

    The Depends ad is just silly.

  16. seppuku Says:

    Thank you. I’m so glad to see someone write on here about this subject. I’m out as a trans woman, and it feels pretty lonely sometimes.

  17. Charles Sands Says:

    Sadly enough, anytime transgendered people are brought to tv through an advertisement or otherwise, I believe it is a good thing because it is keeping transgendered people in the public eye. I just think it is sad that people will use transgendered people as a way to make a buck without actually believing in and supporting transgendered people as a whole.