What’s The Trend:
Recently, a growing number of brands have launched LGBT friendly advertising in mainstream media and marketing efforts.(1)
A cultural shift is occurring in society today bringing the LGBT conversation to the forefront in media. In the political arena, LGBT equality issues are continuously in debate. In pop culture, there are now more positive representations of LGBTs as demonstrated by two popular TV shows ‘Glee’ and ‘Modern Family.’ LGBT themes are in constant dialogue and it is something marketers can’t ignore.(2) With this shift, a new generation of the LGBT population is emerging. Thomas Pardee, a reporter for Advertising Age states that this generation doesn’t “necessarily want to be known as specifically gay or gay first…they’re happy to be out and proud, but they claim that that’s not who they are… It’s just a part of them.”(3)
This changes the way marketers need to approach the LGBT consumer base, which according to Witeck Communications and MarketResearch.com, made up an estimated $790 billion of total buying power across U.S. adults in 2012.(4) It used to be that only LGBT-targeted ads could be found in alternative newspapers or LGBT-specific media. Now, ads are being incorporated into mainstream marketing efforts giving LGBT advertising broader exposure. This shift in marketing technique is necessary and impactful in gaining brand loyalty from the LGBT community because it shows that the brand publicly supports this demographic.(5)
Great examples are prevalent among the marketing sphere. Expedia launched a commercial on CNN, the History, MSNBC and NatGeo channels, promoting their product through the story of a father’s trip to attend his daughter’s wedding to another woman. Chevrolet ran a commercial during the Olympics reiterating that family is the core-value of their company, stating that “while what it means to be a family hasn’t changed…what a family looks like has.”(6) Other companies have launched social media and event marketing campaigns such as MasterCard’s #AcceptanceMatters and Lucky Charms’ #LuckyToBe.(7)
Why It Matters:
Despite the strong progression made towards LGBT inclusion in mainstream media and advertising, there is still a lack of LGBT Latinos being represented.(8)According to a report published by the Williams Institute, 4.3% of Latino adults identify as LGBT resulting in an estimated 1,419,200 LGBT Latino adults living in the U.S.(9) This population of LGBT Latinos, a twice-marginalized community, faces hardships that differ from their heterosexual Latino counterparts as well as their non-Hispanic LGBT counterparts. For example, 32% of children being raised by Latino gay male couples live in poverty. This is in part due to the fact that many family assistant programs use a definition of ‘family’ that assumes a child is being raised by legal citizens.(10) People don’t necessarily realize how the fight for equality in the LGBT community differs within different demographics. Opportunity arises for UCI to step in and help change the media landscape and fight this ignorance by shedding light on the issues particular to LGBT Latinos and putting LGBT Latinos in the mainstream media.
Furthermore, the organization HIP, ‘Hispanics in Philanthropy,’ is working to strengthen the movement for LGBT rights within Latino communities. This institute points out that many Latino LGBT specific organizations are under-resourced, operating under budgets of $100,000 or less. Building strong LGBT Latino organizations and leaders is crucial to the movement and Brands have the opportunity to spearhead initiatives that empower the Latino LGBT community.
1. Elliot, Stuart. (2013, June). “Commercials With a Gay Emphasis Are Moving to Mainstream Media.” The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/26/business/media/commercials-with-a-gay-emphasis-are-moving-to-mainstream-media.html?_r=5&.
2. Lyden, Jacki. (2012, August). “Has Marketing to LGBT Consumers Become Mainstream?” NPR. http://www.npr.org/2012/08/15/158870030/has-marketing-to-lgbt-consumers-become-mainstream.
3. Lyden, Jacki. (2012, August). “Has Marketing to LGBT Consumers Become Mainstream?” NPR. http://www.npr.org/2012/08/15/158870030/has-marketing-to-lgbt-consumers-become-mainstream.
4. Campbell, Angela. (2012). “Does This Ad Make Me Look Gay?” Multicultural Marketing Resources, Inc. http://multicultural.com/multicultural_markets/glbt.
5. Elliot, Stuart. (2013, June). “Commercials With a Gay Emphasis Are Moving to Mainstream Media.” The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/26/business/media/commercials-with-a-gay-emphasis-are-moving-to-mainstream-media.html?_r=5&.
6. Turnbull, Marta. (2014, June). “Does This Ad Make Me Look Gay? 5 Brands Hitting the LGBT Marketing Sweet Spot.” One Up Web. http://www.oneupweb.com/blog/5-brands-hitting-lgbt-sweet-spot/.
7. Elliot, Stuart. (2013, June). “Commercials With a Gay Emphasis Are Moving to Mainstream Media.” The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/26/business/media/commercials-with-a-gay-emphasis-are-moving-to-mainstream-media.html?_r=5&.
8. Hannah, Daryl. (2012, May). “LGBT People of Color: Addressing the Media’s ‘Diversity Issue.’”Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daryl-c-hannah/lgbt-people-of-color-media_b_1466391.html.
9. Gates, Gary and Angeliki Kastanis. (2010). “LGBT Latino/a Individuals and Latino/a Same-sex Couples.” The Williams Institute. http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Census-2010-Latino-Final.pdf.
10. Hannah, Daryl. (2012, May). “LGBT People of Color: Addressing the Media’s ‘Diversity Issue.’”Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daryl-c-hannah/lgbt-people-of-color-media_b_1466391.html.