Wells Fargo: Learning Sign Language

Wells Fargo is the fourth-largest bank in the United States and employs 258,000 people in more than 30 countries. In April 2015, they launched a campaign in which one of their spots was starring a lesbian couple learning Sign Language. The reason for this can be found at the end of the video.

A scene from the spot "Learning Sign Language"
The spot was received with great excitement and severely criticized in equal parts. On the one hand, it was widely applauded by some media and pro-LGTB organizations, as Wells Fargo itself was recognized in 2013 as the #1 U.S. company in diversity inclusion and the best place to work from LGTB equality for ten consecutive years, being also the first bank in the United States to promote a spot starring a same-sex couple.

On the other hand, the most conservative sectors were strongly opposed and even an influential evangelical Christian preacher, Frankin Graham, called for a boycott, which was seconded by other organizations, including the anti-LGTB American Family Association.

However, Wells Fargo was not discouraged by pressure from the conservative sector and assured that they would not remove the spot, as the LGTB collective is an important part of their client base and their own staff. The video on YouTube reached more than one and a half million views. However, some time later the video was removed from YouTube for unknown reasons, although it is possible to find it on the Internet:

The protagonist couple are lesbians in real life and the deaf girl is also Deaf in real life.

In the midst of this controversy, there is a fact that is powerfully striking: Sign Language was out of all controversy. With this spot, Wells Fargo wants to launch the message that people work hard for different reasons, in this case, to increase the family, and Wells Fargo wants to financially support any family. Thus, Sign Language has been seamlessly integrated into the spot and completes a story that surprises the viewer by making them wonder: why are these women learning American Sign Language?


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