Here’s the gay dad and son featured in Jet Stores ad campaign


Eric and Alex

Jet Stores has taken the brave step of aligning itself with gay families in its new ‘Denim Doesn’t Discriminate’ campaign.

The clothing retailer has launched a series of videos that focus on and celebrate our diversity, common humanity and inclusiveness as a nation.

The campaign features seven real South African stories centred on individual experiences of discrimination. These ordinary people share their inspirational stories to bring to light their experiences of how they have overcome their personal challenges and, more importantly, how they feel proud of their differences and see them as something to be celebrated.

One of the videos in particular puts a spotlight on Eric von Brandis and his adorable son Alex. The clip not only addresses the issue of sexual discrimination, but also adoption by gay parents and racial discrimination.

In the video we see Von Brandis and his parents doting over Alex, as the gay father talks about his experience of being gay, coming out and raising a young boy from a different racial background.

In addition to the social media video campaign, Von Brandis and his son appear nationwide in Jet Stores window displays and are also featured in a full-page ad in national newspapers.

Jerry Anthonyrajah, Head of Marketing at Jet, said that the video builds on Jet’s brand ethos of ‘Feel Good Fashion’. “We want our customers to feel good about who they are. Jet is embracing how wonderfully different, yet so similar we all are,” he explained.

“Regardless of age, race, culture or gender, each individual is extraordinary and brings a special element to the broader South African culture,” added Anthonyrajah.

Joe Public, the agency behind the campaign, said that Von Brandis is a hairdresser to one of the agency’s art directors, who told the team about his story. He was approached and agreed to participate in the campaign.

“I said yes because I strongly believe that every person has a story to tell, and people need to hear about how you can be gay and a dad and how society handles the situations,” Von Brandis told Mambaonline.

Gay-dad-and-his-son-featured-in-Jet-Stores-diversity-campaign_02He revealed that he adopted Alex at the age of three months, almost two years ago, “I will always remember the first day when I met him, my mom went with me; he was in a pink and blue hospital jacket. He didn’t take his eyes off me.”

Von Brandis was single at the time but is now raising his son with a partner he met a year ago, along with his parents. “Alex has got a lot of amazing people in his little life and my mom and dad are a huge part of his world,” he said.

Von Brandis and his family continue to be subjected to ongoing discriminatory comments and attitudes, including judgemental glances they get from people in public. “I think I’ve learned to look past that and don’t even notice anymore. I’m focused on my son and to bring him up with all the love that I have,” he said.

Despite our progressive Constitution, few corporates, and especially retail brands, in South Africa voluntarily step forward to publicly show their support for our community. That’s why we at Mambaonline support this campaign and applaud Jet for embracing loving gay families.

Watch Eric’s Story: Racial and Sexual Orientation Discrimination below. The rest of the videos can be found here.

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