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Why Are People In This Hardware Store Ad Announcing Their Sexuality?

Exceedingly earnest or failed cultural reference?

The British chain Robert Dyas released a commercial earlier this week that features shoppers randomly stating their sexuality while shopping for appliances.

The ad shows the store's staff and customers announcing that they're gay, straight or bisexual to the camera before displaying a product.

"Hi, my name's Marcus. I work at Robert Dyas and I'm gay," says a store employee.

"I'm bisexual, and I always find something I love at Robert Dyas," a customer states. 

Considering the fact that shopping for microwaves and drill bits traditionally has nothing to do with a person's sexuality, the clip left viewers seriously confused. Was it meant to be a political statement? Or a joke that was taken too far?

Seriously though, what was going on in that ad and why?

Turns out, the commercial was meant to be a parody of a Red House Furniture store advertisement, according to Metro. The ad from the U.S. furniture chain went viral back in 2009 because of its overtly racial overtones which left people wondering if it's blatant earnestness was the product of advertising ingenuity. 

"At the Red House, where black people and white people buy furniture," the ad concludes, to the tune of a catchy jingle. 

The Red House commercial was ultimately revealed to be the work of Rhett & Link, an advertising group known for producing viral marketing hits.

After watching both of the ads, it's pretty clear what Robert Dyas was going for. Still, the question remains: why would they choose to mimic a viral hit from 2009 that was largely considered offensive and has most likely faded from the public memory? Bold move, Robert Dyas, bold move. 

The Huffington Post reached out to Robert Dyas but did not immediately receive a response.

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