LOS ANGELES, CA – (October 28, 2013) – A billboard placed on a high-traffic section of Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles is already drawing sharp social media remarks from the public — and the ad isn’t live yet.
The ad, featuring an enlisted American soldier and Muslim woman in loving embrace, is part of a larger marketing campaign for the product SnoreStop, the #1 selling throat spray, a product shown to reduce snoring among people who have used the product.
Dubbed the #betogether campaign, the billboard has generated some social media feedback from members of the military and the Muslim community in the first hours of the campaign.
So, why is it raising eyebrows in some corners? And, what does it have to do with a natural snoring solution?
** MEDIA ** Please visit www.SnoreStop.com/Press for updated pics, and a behind-the-scenes video of the campaign featuring interviews with everyone involved in the making of the billboard.
What does it have to do with a snoring solution?
“As a snoring solution company, we’re in the business of keeping people together,” says Melody Devemark, spokesperson and member of the family-owned Camarillo, California-based company. “So we found the most polarized couple and thought: ‘If we can keep them together, we can keep anybody together’.”
The idea was inspired from a real couple. Veteran Jamie Sutton and his Muslim wife, Aleah, are the real couple behind the billboard portrait. “We realize that it’s likely to be controversial,” Devemark says. “But our family thinks it’s a beautiful story and we feel honored to be able o share it with others.”
Comments from the Public
The billboard is already going viral, with more than 1,000 notes on Tumblr in one week, and hasn’t even been unveiled yet. Bearing the slogan #betogether, people in the social media sphere have already begun to make their opinions known. Here are some selected comments and feedback:
“I’m not racist, but I feel like they’re trying to shove this ‘political correctness’ thing down our throats.”
”For some people it’s just too soon. The tragedy of 9/11 is still so fresh in people’s minds and now we’re being told we have to accept the enemy being a part of our lives and culture.”
“I wonder if she needed a green card.”
“I guess she’s supposed to be one of them peace-loving ones?”
“Ha! I’d have thought something like this would be for Obamacare.”
While others expressed open hostility to the image, the majority of comments were more accepting:
“It’s a wonderful message. It’s time we stopped labeling people because of their nationality. As for stopping snoring, I’m all for that too.”
“Would it make me try their product? I would try it on the basis that it stops my husband’s snoring! But the ad is nice.”
“I can see where it would piss some folks off. Me? I think it’s okay.”
“Be together, it says. Would we have seen things like this during the Second World War with an American G.I. and a Japanese woman? Hell no. So maybe it shows how much we’ve progressed as a society. I don’t know.”
“All’s fair in love and war, right?”
“Gets me kind of hot, you know? She’s hot is all I’m saying.”
“I’m getting all teary-eyed. I think it’s great. Honestly, I like it.”
“I hope it wakes people up, sorry, I’m not talking about the snoring, to the plight of the people in the Middle East and that the majority of them don’t want to see violence and destruction.”
An American military figure and a Muslim woman holding each other is bound to raise eyebrows. But, Christian de Rivel, another member of the family-owned company, does not want to run from controversy: “Snoring is an equal opportunity offender, SnoreStop is the equal opportunity provider. There is no nudity or bigotry or hostility in our #betogether campaign. In fact, we are specifically and aggressively promoting diversity, equality and harmony.