Stonewall's rainbow-colored 'Proud Mistletoe' wards off homophobic violence

Campaign by Ogilvy hangs it in places where hate crimes happen

Published On
Dec 16, 2021

Editor's Pick

The first ever Christmas campaign from Stonewall, the British LGBTQ+ rights organization, stands up to homophobic hate crimes with a defiant symbol of love: rainbow-colored "Proud Mistletoe."

The holiday effort, created by Ogilvy London in partnership with Gay Times, comprises bunches of the mistletoe tied with a rainbow ribbon hung in the types of public places where homophobic attacks often happen: in pubs, parks, residential streets, and takeaway shops. Couples from the community were then invited to kiss underneath them, as a way to reclaim their spaces. 

The effort is supported by an online film, directed by Luis Aguer of Rebolucion, in which gay couples kiss to the track "Merry Christmas, I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight’," by Joey Ramone. Supporting activity includes digital out-of-home ads and a digital version of the #ProudMistletoe for Instagram encouraging couples to kiss underneath it. In addition, 100 bunches of proud mistletoes will be given away via social media. 

"It has been heartbreaking to see the attacks on our community across headlines and morning news bulletins this year," said Stonewall CEO Nancy Kelley, in a statement. "Every single lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer person should feel safe to be themselves, wherever they are. Sadly, in 2021, too many of us still face hate for simply being ourselves. That’s why we’re encouraging people to come together and reclaim our moments of joy with one another."

Ogilvy, which created the work via its Ogilvy Proud arm, also plans to roll out the campaign further in 2022.

"This is the launch of something bigger than an ad campaign," said Francesco Grandi, global creative director at Ogilvy. “Come next Christmas, we want the Proud Mistletoe to be in millions of homes, nationwide. We are incredibly proud to turn a 300-year-old UK tradition into a powerful symbol of equal love, and a show of strength for the community. Everyone should be free to kiss in public. Especially in a country that is meant to be one of the most open and diverse in the world. If this initiative prevents just one homophobic attack this holiday season, then we did our job.”


Dec 16, 2021
Client :
Agency :
Global Executive Creative Director :
Daniel Fisher
Global Creative Director :
Francesco Grandi
Copywriter :
Francesco Grandi
Copywriter :
Yann Jones
Art Director :
Simon Robinson
Designer :
Sian Hughes
Designer :
Dani Vazquez
Designer :
Dom Flaherty
Senior Producer :
Stephanie Warner
Assistant Producer :
George Ward
Strategy Partner :
Matthew Waksman
Project Management :
Duncan Howie
Project Management :
Katrina Hedditch
Global Lead WPP :
Jo Bacon
Production Company :
Director :
Luis Aguer
MD / Executive Producer :
Florencia Arrizabalaga
Producer :
Lucy Benson-Brown
Director of Photography :
Santiago Bernaldo De Quiros
Edit House :
Cabin Edit
Editor :
Nina Sacharow
Edit Assistant :
Will Howard
Executive Producer :
Kayt Hall
Producer :
Antonia Porter
Producer :
Antonia Porter
Music :
Music Production Director :
James Bargent
Music Producer :
Chloe Healie
Music Track :
“Merry Christmas, I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight”
Music Track :
The Ramones
Recorded By :
Joey Ramone
Sound :
Sound Engineer :
Giselle Hall
Producer :
Aishah Amodu
Grade :
Colorist :
Peter Oppersdorff
VFX Producer :
Polly Roberts
Post :
Post :
Casting :
Lizzie Knowles
Casting :
Real People Casting
Casting :
Anna Stark
Casting :
Stark Casting
Thanks to :
Maxine Dunkley
Thanks to :
Amber McNeil
Thanks to :
Atmosphere Faces

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